When we began to think about Lessons & Carols for 2020, two things were clear. First, more than the average year, we need to experience the beauty and truth of this story. And second, we would have to start from the ground up in planning how to present this program.  

We chose the theme of WONDER – that beautiful mixture of surprise, amazement and joy. And we decided to create a film with elements of music, Scripture readings, art, and narrative filmmaking – which combine together into a 75 minute multi-media program we’re calling The Wonder Film.

Below, we’re providing some ways to engage with The Wonder Film. They’re organized into three categories: Anticipate (ways to prepare), Experience (ways to engage with the film itself), and Practice (ways to incorporate wonder into everyday life). 

We hope these will be fun and meaningful resources to you (and your family, community group, etc!).

Anticipate Wonder

“Our society is much more interested in information than wonder, in noise rather than silence… and I feel that we need a lot more wonder and a lot more silence in our lives.” -Fred Rogers

  • As we grow up into adulthood, we tend to lose our child’s eye and do not experience many aspects of life with wonder and excitement. This is one of the reasons that Jesus said in Luke 10:21 that the kingdom had been revealed to little children, not the “wise and understanding”. Make some space (and silence) to really consider something around you. Try to see it through a child’s perspective. It takes time and intention to cultivate wonder in our busy, grown-up lives.
  • Think of your favorite children’s book, fairy tale, or fantasy story (you may have to rewind a few years to when you were young). What about those imaginary characters and worlds made you wonder? Now consider the stunning beauty of the incarnation. Look with a child’s wide-eyes at the improbable, impossible arrival of God in human form. Try to imagine the nativity with fresh perspective. 
  • Start thinking about how you want to experience The Wonder Film. Where will you watch? Who will watch it alongside you? What wonderful food will you eat before or after? If you watch at home, will you light a fire and get under blankets, or will you rig up a backyard projector and watch under the stars? Think about what would kindle your own personal sense of wonder.
  • Enjoy going behind the scenes of the entire Wonder Film project @hopechapelgso on Instagram between now and the premiere.
  • Sign up at our Facebook event for the premiere so that you receive reminders and updates!

“Telling a story is like reaching into a granary full of wheat and drawing out a handful. There is always more to tell than can be told.” – Wendell Berry

  • Watch The Wonder Film at 5:30pm on December 13th, either at home with family and friends or together at Hope Chapel. Regardless of where you watch, there’s wonder in knowing we’re all experiencing it at the same time. RSVP on our Facebook event to receive reminders when the premiere begins.
  • Scroll through or print out The Wonder Guide, a digital program of song lyrics, Scripture readings, and other details that give a fuller picture for your experience.
  • If you are able to have a physical copy of the Wonder Guide (they’ll be available at Hope Chapel, or you could print a copy), circle words or phrases that intrigue you, catch your breath, or bring a tear. These are markers that you could return to later and explore.
  • Wonder at how we can approach the story of Jesus in so many ways and never exhaust the beauty and depth of the telling.

“When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” – C. S. Lewis

  • After you finish The Wonder Film, walk outside and look at the stars. Let the questions within you rise to the surface in the presence of your friend Jesus. A couple of starter questions: What do you enjoy about God? What about you do you think gives God joy?
  • Return to notes you made in your Wonder Guide. Explore why certain phrases or ideas moved you. Jot down some thoughts or record a voice memo for yourself to remember.
  • Have a conversation with a family member, friend, or in your community group about what brought you the deepest sense of wonder in this particular telling of the Christmas story.
  • Make plans to do at least one thing this Christmas season to remind you of what it feels like to experience the world as a wonder-filled child would.
  • Share the The Wonder Film with people outside the Hope Chapel family and anticipate, experience, and practice wonder alongside them.

Watch the film now!