“HOW CAN THIS BE?” MARY ASKS.
– LUKE 1:34
“WHERE IS THE ONE WHO WAS BORN THE KING OF THE JEWS?”
THE WISE MEN INQUIRE.
– MATTHEW 2:2
Even in our noisy, busy world, Christmas seems to close the gap between the daily grind and the divine. Christmas gives us permission to hope for big things (and not just a box under the tree!). It tugs at our hearts and whispers—sometimes shouts—about beauty, and forgiveness, and restoration.
But still we have questions. Sometimes they’re about the story itself. What was going on between the words, in all the scenes that aren’t written out? Can the details, written and unknown, be trusted? Or we may wrestle with the implications. It’s a good story—maybe even our favorite story—but how does it change our relationships and our world?
And then there are the questions that can be hard to articulate, the ones that don’t come up around the table. Sometimes we ask why we still feel empty, why we haven’t followed through on a resolution we made last January.
Christmas makes seekers out of all of us—and it should. God dignifies our questions; he invites us to conversations; and he encourages us to accept the answers when we discover them.
YOU WILL SEEK ME AND FIND ME, WHEN YOU SEEK ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART.
– JEREMIAH 29:13
ASK AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU; SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND; KNOCK AND THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED TO YOU.
– MATTHEW 7:7
Perhaps the most popular question this time of year is: What do you want for Christmas? What would be your honest answer to that question—more than a sweater or a book, a new gadget or toy? Sit with God for a few minutes today and talk to him about what your soul longs for.
The three wise men—the Magi—are perhaps Christmas’s most famous seekers: learned men from a distant land who came to find the infant Christ. Though we often depict the wise men arriving the night of Jesus’ birth, it’s much more likely that they arrived later, sometime between a few months and two years after the event. And they didn’t miss Christmas. Not only did they not “miss” it; they’re part of its official narrative. So if still have questions after December 25, don’t give up the search, or put it aside until next December.
Christmas makes us seekers. May it make wise men and women of us, too—who ask their questions, and follow the answers, and find themselves at a cradle in Bethlehem.