But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Christmas presents bought? Check.
Christmas presents wrapped? Working on it.
A silent night to ponder the birth of our Lord? Uh…
This has been my checklist for the past week. I’ve been sucked into the commercial Christmas madness, gifts and cards swirling through my head and enveloping me in such a haze I’ve forgotten what season this actually is. The world says spend, while God says to His Son, “Save.”
Kind of a big difference.
I don’t know about you, but I need a rest. I need some perspective.
So travel back in time with me. After miles on the back of a donkey and a city out of stock on accommodations. After a manger, a baby, a shining star above. Gifts and worship presented at the tiny feet of the infant Christ, awestruck, and holy songs sung by angels. Now it is calm. The stalls are cleared of visitors and it is a man, a woman and a King. Above their heads, the sky winks with a night wrapped in soft, quiet, starry wonder. The shepherds are back in their fields, telling their flocks all about the heavenly multitude that brought them to a baby. The magi take the long route back home, determined to deter King Herod. Mary, quietly lying beside her sleeping boy, taking in his every feature. As shadows form his face, she remembers the journey.
When Gabriel appeared to her with a nation’s long awaited news, how surprised and terrified she had been! The Savior, sewn in her womb. This alone was enough to overwhelm, but how she endured the looks and whispers of Nazareth’s busy bodies, who knew she was betrothed yet bore a belly! Unheard of. Unspeakable. Yet the angel of the Lord told her not to be afraid, that the almighty God found favor in her caring eyes, her unwavering and innocent faith. He knew she would be the one to carry His son, to raise the man who would raise the dead. So she took hold of her faith, followed Joseph to a tiny town and welcomed the world’s Light in the darkest of night.
Here she rested, head upon her patchwork pillow, pondering all that had transpired in the hours before. This was only the beginning. The road pressed on, the path, narrow. But for this moment, this tired, breathless moment of reverence, Mary thought of nothing but the sound of her son, our Savior, breathing soundly beside her. She treasured the stillness, the holy night frozen in time. This little boy was everyone’s hope, and tonight, He was her mighty miracle.
This Christmas, settle down. Sit yourself in a cozy chair in the corner of your living room. Turn the tree lights on and the clutter off. Silence yourself before our heavenly Father, pull out a Bible and read the tale of wonder set in the town of Bethlehem. Let’s remember the reason we rush around at all, the one moment that transformed our lives.
Merry Christmas. May you always hear the angels singing, “Glory to God on highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”
Your Son, sent for our sins. That’s the purpose of Christmas, Lord. Not the rush to get the greatest deals or to see who can feel the most frenzied after lines and drives around cities. Please quiet my spirit. Take me back to that silent night, so long ago, yet so lasting in my heart. To the angels, to the manger. To that sleeping boy who saved us all. Please let me remember why we celebrate this most wondrous time: Your Son. Amen.
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