It’s a lot of fun to watch young children in this season, to observe the wonder in their faces as they see all the Christmas decorations, watch snow fall, or catch a glimpse of a stunning winter sunset reflected on the clouds. They don’t have to worry about safely hanging all those Christmas decorations out of the reach of tiny hands, or tackling early morning snow shoveling before driving off to work on slippery roads.
At some point it seems that we let go of our sense of wonder. We learn about the logic, the science, the cause-and-effect nature of things, and we lose our connection with wonder. Yet wonder is one of those things that keeps us young in spirit, and not having all the answers is sometimes a great gift. It allows us to let go of believing that we’re in control of it all.
As the Advent season draws to a close, we are faced with many things about which we might still feel wonder. Rather than analyzing exactly how Jesus might have become incarnate in Mary’s womb, what if we instead focused on the amazing mystery of God connecting with us through a tiny child?
What if, instead of focusing on what we can prove, we let go of our need to know and become as little children again, stopped in our tracks by an encounter with something we do not have to explain or understand?
Take some time to stare up at the stars at night and contemplate the wonder that the shepherds felt outside of Bethlehem. Take a moment to picture in your mind the tiny baby Jesus, held in Mary’s arms. Give yourself some time to give thanks, in whatever way feels right for you, for the incredible gift—and mystery—of love.