Read Matthew 18:1-5, 10-14.
My friend Paul Demer is a talented singer-songwriter who wrote a song that I love called, “Teach Me How to Wonder,” in which he reflects on the natural curiosity he had as a child. He sings, “When I was five I had so many questions / My eyes were open wide to the brightness of it all / Like fireflies and drinking in the raindrops / Where did it go?”*
If there’s one thing we often lose as we age, it’s our sense of wonder. Children, on the other hand, are incredibly skilled wonderers. Kids can spend hours engaging their curiosities. Kids are good at noticing and celebrating the small miracles of life: crisp and colorful fall leaves, ladybugs and butterflies, clouds that look like animals, the first snow of the season.
It’s not surprising, then, that Jesus tells the disciples to become like children. Interpreting the parables of Jesus, like the parable of the lost and found sheep, requires imagination. Wondering allows us to humble ourselves, to be more imaginative by admitting that we don’t have all the answers. This posture, Jesus says, is required for seeing and entering the kingdom of heaven.
Advent is a season for waiting—waiting in eager anticipation for Christ’s return. And so, Advent is also a season for embracing the gift of wondering. How will you embrace your curiosity today? Spend time noticing and wondering at the small miracles of life, and pay attention to the joy and eager anticipation that comes as a result.
God, teach us how to wonder. Make us curious, help us anticipate the extraordinary, and attune every part of us to the wonder of living. Amen.
Rev. Jessie Light-Wells
*”Teach Me How to Wonder” is on the 2018 album I’m Glad You’re Still Around, released independently here.