It’s easy to miss this brief sentence, buried amid Mary & Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, the birth of the Christ child, a host of angels, and shepherds visiting the newborn child. Read it again.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.- Luke 2:19
How are we supposed to ponder when there is so much to do? Presents needing to be wrapped. Food demanding to be prepared. Children sneaking peaks into presents and nicking treats from the kitchen. Last minute cleaning and organizing to ready our homes for visitors.
In the rush to meet the midnight (or sometimes Christmas morning) deadline, it seems impossible to treasure, much less ponder, God’s presence with us. So just for now, for 10 minutes… or 5 minutes… or even 1 let’s ponder the coming of our Christ.
Imagine the tiny perfect fingers curled into two delicate fists, framed around the infant Jesus’ face.
Imagine his smooth, wrinkle-free forehead. Jesus’ eyes closed in peace accompanied by his quiet breathing, in and out… in and out…
Allow yourself to close your eyes, to breath in and out. And just for a moment, linger on the face of Jesus in quiet wonder. And as a gift to you and your family, slow down just enough to read the Christmas story, pondering and treasuring Emmanuel, God with Us.
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
As you entertain guests, prepare meals, open presents, and corral children may the presence of Christ Jesus, our God-in-flesh King, fill your heart and home today.
All Glory to God in the Highest. Amen.