The Wonder of Christmas

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

John Jacob Niles loved to roam through America’s Appalachian Mountains. Born in Kentucky in 1892, Niles had a passion for authentic folk music and often sought out “undiscovered” songs. He looked everywhere for such songs, even among fellow soldiers while he served in World War I. After the war, he completed his musical studies, sang professionally, and lived in Chicago and New York before moving back to Kentucky.

One day in 1933, he was observing the faces of children looking in shop windows in Murphy, North Carolina. Suddenly, he heard a riveting sound. Curious, he walked around a corner, where he saw a little girl named Annie Morgan singing. As author Ace Collins describes, her father was a pastor, and her family was “about to be ejected by the police, after having camped in the town square for some little time.”

After Niles’ encouragement, Annie sang more of this song as he copied it down as fast as he could. After publishing and recording the song, it became known worldwide as “I Wonder as I Wander.” Its combination of depth and simplicity still makes a lasting impact.

The song tells of wandering in a state of wonder under the sky, amazed that Jesus came to die for poor people “like you and like I.” It tells how “wise men and farmers and shepherds and all” were there when Mary gave birth, and how “the promise of ages it then did recall.” Miracles took place, but nothing was too difficult. If Jesus had wanted anything, “He surely could have it, ‘cause he was the King.”

In our sophisticated world today, it can be easy to forget the simplicity of the Christmas message. Let your heart be filled with wonder of all Jesus has done for you. Think about the greatness of His love and the miracle of His birth.