The Wonder of God’s Presence

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come and has redeemed his people. …”
Luke 1:67 NIV84

The story of the Advent of Jesus was first illustrated to me through the pictures in a religious calendar. I think I was nearly four years old and filled with awe and “wonder” as I began to turn the pages. Apparently, I picked up the significance of the story through the colorful and artful illustrations.

I marveled at the bright circles that appeared to radiate behind and above the heads of the Holy family. I became not only curious but puzzled as well. I had never seen anyone that had that kind of aura about them. The awe and wonder increased as my mother attempted to explain what that circle (Nimbus) represented about the deity of the Holy family.

Luke 1 and 2 sets forth the real beginning of the story of Jesus and God’s ancient plan to bless the nations. (That is to bring to fruition God’s promise to Abraham.) The people, as Luke depicts the scriptural story, continue to come to life, even for us today. God will still intervene to redeem His people in these coming days and weeks before we celebrate Christmas.

The Christmas story arouses awe, wonder and enlightenment to many. But the simple proclamation is not just left to wonder and chance. Each year we have the opportunity to renew and to develop our understanding of the Christmas story. The mysterious wonder of spiritual enlightenment continues to be carried forward. It never stops — nor was it intended to.

Besides the colorful calendar and pictures, I still carry in my mind the remembrance of it being one of the few treasured shared times of feeling a closeness with my mother. I am thankful for that, and what was embodied in the pictures. There was also a visible means through which the wonder of God’s presence became real and very personal.

Rev. Enid Doris Shephard–2009

Lord, fill me with the wonder of Your redeeming love.
Show me how I can continue the story of Your love this holiday season.

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