The Eighth Wonder of the World
The story is told how some pre-high school students in Chicago were studying the Seven Wonders of the World. At the end of the lesson, the students were asked to list what they considered to be the Seven Wonders of the World. Though there was some disagreement, the following received the most votes:
- Egypt's Great Pyramids
- The Taj Mahal in India
- The Grand Canyon in Arizona
- The Panama Canal
- The Empire State Building
- St. Peter's
- China's Great Wall.
While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn't turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The quiet girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many." The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help." The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:
- To touch
- To taste
- To see
- To hear... (she hesitated a little, and then added...)
- To feel
- To laugh and
- To love.
The room was so quiet, you could have heard a pin drop. May this story serve as a gentle reminder to all of us that the things we overlook as simple and ordinary are often the most wonderful.1
While this young teenager certainly gave us seven exquisite wonders of the world, there is another wonder that far surpasses all other wonders—a wonder that, tragically, is also overlooked by far too many. It is the wonder of God’s incredible love-gift to the world when He gave His Son, Jesus, to come to earth to pay the just penalty for all of mankind’s sin. This was not only the birth of baby Jesus, but the birth of the very first Christmas when Jesus was born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago.
There is another wonder that far
surpasses all other wonders.
The vital part of this wonder is that Jesus, God the Son, to identify Himself with mankind willingly laid aside His external robes of deity and clothed Himself in an external garment of human flesh. And then out of His great love willing give His life for you and me to die in our place on the excruciatingly painful Roman crucifixion cross to pay the just penalty for all your sins and mine so we could justly receive God’s forgiveness and His gift of eternal to live with God in Heaven for all eternity when our life on earth is concluded.
Christmas, the eight wonder of the world, is not only a message of God’s great love for mankind, but also a message about sin and it’s total destructive power. Many people reason, "If God is a God of love, why does He allow so much suffering in today's world? This is because we have all sinned and in so doing have separated ourselves from an infinitely holy God.2 It's not that God left us, but rather, we left God and separated ourselves from Him and His protection.
Another misconception is that God is out to punish us for our sins when, in fact, we bring sin's punishment on ourselves because sin has its natural consequences. If we try to break the universal law of gravity, we can't. It will break us. Neither can we break God's universal moral law. When we do, it breaks us, and besides its painful effects in this life—suffering, sorrow, and physical death—its ultimate consequence is spiritual and eternal death which is eternal separation from God because no sinner can survive in God’s holy presence.
Continued on Page Two