Wonder Reflection for Advent Service
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Finding old photos evokes a sense of wonder and awe in me. It shocks me into the realisation of who we were then and who we are now, and how the passing of time has changed us. It makes me look at the happy times and wonder – did I know then how good I had it? Or, there was so much pain and suffering then, but we had each other. Or look how young we were!
Despite the drudgery of some days and the excitement of others, we somehow didn’t notice the gradual changes until they are put in front of us, the stark contrast of then and now on display.
Earlier we looked at pictures that can evoke a sense of awe – beautiful natural occurrences, the vastness of space, breathtaking scenery, new life. I wonder what evoked a sense of wonder in you?
Notice this feather that is so light in my hand I can barely feel it’s there. If I throw it up, it catches an invisible wind and flies. If joined with other feathers, it allows a bird to fly and soar and float. It is a thing of wonder.
In today’s Bible passage, Jesus reminds Nicodemus that sometimes the most important things in life are the things we cannot see with our eyes. He reminds Nicodemus of the invisible wind that blows and also of the invisible Spirit who moves. We can’t see the wind but we can see it’s effects. We can’t see the Spirit but we can see the impact the Spirit has.
In another passage of Scripture, God is described as the one in whom ‘we live and move and have our being’. Jesus is inviting Nicodemus to turn to God, to allow God to surround Him and indwell Him and to live life responding to the prompts of His Spirit, opening him up to the Kingdom of God, where love and peace reign, instead of our own priorities and purposes and goals. What a wondrous challenge!
And just like our old photos, we often don’t notices the changes that this new life and new direction brings until we are brought face to face with it and we realise that with God we have laid down greed, self-centeredness, anger, shame, regret and have grown in love, joy, peace and patience. And where we forget and get caught up in old habits or old thoughts and go our own way, the true wonder is that the moment we turn around to face God again, he is there, arms open wide.
Throw the feather up and allow it to float again. And remember, the wonder of a feather floating on an invisible wind does not compare to the wonder of you being carried by an invisible God.
This week, the first week in Advent, when you are out walking, see if you can spot a feather. Let it remind you to notice things and people around you who are full of wonder. And ask God to carry you, surround you and catch you as you go about your life this week.