Do you love a good suspense thriller? You know the kind of movie or book that leaves you on the edge of your seat wondering what is coming next. I can’t get enough of them. I love trying to figure out how the various characters are interwoven in the story. I especially love it when something happens that I didn’t see coming. If it’s a good one, I’ll watch it or read it multiple times.
One of my favorites is the movie the Tourist, with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. It was a great story line with perfectly cast actors. I think I was particularly fond of the fact that Johnny Depp’s character, Frank, pulled out some Captain Jack Sparrow moves every now and then.
[Spoiler alert!] We bought the movie when it came out and my daughter had friends over to watch it. One friend had never seen it before and when Frank finally revealed that he was Alexander, this guy jumped up and screamed,
Everyone laughed and laughed. He had been drawn into the movie. He took every step with Frank, trying to determine what was going to happen to him and Elise. I knew what was going to happen and I still managed to get sucked into the story.
What if we read Scripture that way?
What if we approached the Word as if we didn’t know the ending.
We would read about angels appearing before people as mind blowing as it really is. In Luke 1:29-33 when Gabriel told Mary,
Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.”
We would be astounded. To put it in the modern teenage vernacular, we’d say,
Instead, we blow through it and move on to the next scene in the story. Sometimes we read the Bible as if we’re reading a book report. We need to realize, as my friend, Annie Downs likes to say,
No one in the Bible except Jesus knew how their story was going to end.”
Mary didn’t just say okay to Gabriel because she knew how the life of Jesus would play out. Let’s face it, what mother in her right mind would want to give birth to a child knowing he would be murdered by the very people he came to save?
We have become so familiar with the Word of God in one sense that we’ve lost the awe and wonder.
Hear me in this, I am speaking to myself as much as I am you, if not more so.
This Christmas, I’m asking the Lord for the gifts of awe and wonder as I read His Word. I don’t want this holiday season to be status quo. I want to be blown away by the magnitude of what The Lord did for us on Christmas day.
He loved us so much that He was willing to set His crown aside for a time, peel back the curtain of heaven and come to earth [John 3:16]. He didn’t come as He deserved, but came as the child of a man and woman of humble beginnings so that all could relate to Him [Mark 6:3]. He declared His birth to shepherds, not ABC News or the rich and famous [Luke 2:9-18].
So many amazing things happened that night and we tend to gloss over because we’ve grown familiar with the story. How many things do we miss day after day, miracles and messages of love from the Father, because they’re so familiar to us?
Will you join me in my quest to stand amazed by the Message and the Messenger this season? It will be the greatest gift we could receive this Christmas.
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