I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die,
For poor orn’ry people like you and like I,
I wonder as I wander … out under the sky.
I sometimes think that wonder is like an endangered species – we don’t have enough of it and are in danger of losing it altogether. You lose wonder when you try to explain everything. Wonder is wasted in seminars, and “how-to” books, and manuals for living, and steps to a more victorious Christian life.
Wonder is what takes over after you have explained all you can explain and answered all you can answer. In my experience, we have tried to answer too much.
Wonder is what finite, sinful creatures do when we encounter the holy.
Wonder is what Mary did after an angel told her she was going to conceive of God and bear the savior of the world.
Wonder is what shepherds did when they found a baby wrapped up and lying in a feed trough after being led to a stable with the singing of a host of angelic beings still ringing in their ears.
Wonder is what great and wealthy kings did when they entered the presence of a child whose glory and significance was matched only by the interstellar GPS system that got them there.
Christmas is a time of wonder, what with the lights, the music, the magic, the snow (fake or real), and the children … always the children. Christmas is for children because they still know how to wonder. Grown-ups outgrow wonder all too soon. We get good at explanations. We have reasons for things.
Children experience things;
Grown-ups explain things.
Children ask questions;
Grown-ups are supposed to know.
Grown-ups have to prove.
Grown-ups are suspicious.
Children take joy;
Grown-ups take notes.
Grown-ups wonder why.
No wonder Jesus told us to be like little children.
When Mary birthed Jesus ’twas in a cow’s stall,
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all;
And high from God’s heaven a star’s light did fall,
And the promise of the ages they then did recall.
If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing,
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing,
Or all of God’s angels in heaven to sing,
He surely could’ve had it… ’cause he was the King.
But He chose not to, for our sake, and that is the biggest wonder of all.
“I Wonder as I Wander” was written by John Jacob Niles.