“Christmas is not a time to ask questions.” This saying, from an old Laura Ingalls Wilder episode, is quoted often around our house this time of year. When a suspicious looking double bagged object is smuggled past prying eyes, bedrooms turn into top secret elf workshops, and e-mails with the title “surprise” are off-limits. And that sense, yes, Christmas is certainly not a time to ask questions, but sometimes I think the image of a baby in a manger becomes stagnant in my mind and I go no further. Childlikeness implies questions, and lots of them. If all Christmas was about was the miraculous birth of a special baby then it would be rather pointless, wouldn’t it? It’s so easy to leave it there, even when I know that’s not the point. Maybe that’s why I do it: it’s easier, it doesn’t involve me, and I don’t have to make time to think about it. But there’s so much more to it than that; Yeshuah came to die that we might live, to lower himself to my position in the flesh so that I may be like Him in spirit.
My absolute favorite Christmas time song is the old hymn I Wonder as I Wander, the first three lines read: “I wonder as I wander out under the sky why the Lord Jesus did come for to die for poor ordinary people like you and like I.” It invites me to take time to wonder, wander, and ask the question too. Why? Sure, I could give you the sunday-school answer in an instant: “Because He loves us.” It’s true, that’s why. But the fact that I know the answer does not mean that I can comprehend it even a little. Love so totally unselfish is beyond my mind to grasp. “He came while we were yet sinners.” Why? I don’t know, I can’t explain it, it doesn’t make sense. I honestly don’t believe my mind will ever understand it, but does that mean I will not spend time pondering the subject? No, not at all!
One of the reasons that song resonates so well with me is that I do wander as I think. Meandering through forest and field, creek, and puddles, I’ll stop to lean on a tree or sit on a crossing log and think, or lay on my back and look up to the sky for the answers. It’s something I havent’ done lately due to busyness and lousy weather; something I plan to do again soon. And when I do I plan to set my mind to the why question. Sometimes the best things to think on are those which you know you will never fully comprehend. Another thing I have started lately is reading the gospel of Luke. Jesus’ life on this earth, here, where we never seem willing to venture beyond the skin of visible reality further than we can see back to our comfortable complacent lives. It’s an awe-inspiring tale, more so because it is true. So let me ask you, will this Christmas be a time of wondering in your life? God is big enough for any wondering heart’s questions. Remember, His fingers crafted a never-ending sky. Yet He makes Himself small enough to be addressed by the most insignificant of us. Go ahead, interrogate the Baby in a manger, you’ll find His claims to be true, even if you never will quite understand the how or why.