We have a tendency to lose touch with the wonder of the first Christmas. Last year I wrote about connecting with the reality of the Christmas narrative, and one of the most helpful resources to help me connect to the first Christmas has been John Blase’s fantastic book, Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas.
Blase briefly explains his journey to recapture the wonder through Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase, The Message. He writes, “As I read, I was struck by how earthy the stories are; in other words, how utterly human. Even in this day and age of ‘real’ and ‘authentic,’ I fear we keep these stories in the realm of card stock and porcelain figurines. If these stories did not happen to flesh and blood and bone and sinew, then we of all people are to be most pitied.”
From that starting point, he launches into a retelling of the Christmas story from the perspectives of different characters in the tale.
Elizabeth expresses the sorrow of being childless and the intimate joy of realizing with Zachariah that the angel was serious.
The angel Gabriel marvels at the amazing faith of a teenage girl who had no idea what challenges she would face.
A shepherd and his nephew describe the wonder of a chorus of angels and hearing the story of Jesus’ birth from Joseph.
This wonderful little book will give you a fresh perspective on the Christmas narrative. I highly recommend it for your advent reflections.