Let’s take a breather for a moment during this Christmas season, shall we?
Put down your calendar crammed with holiday responsibilities, shut the Christmas music off for a moment, stop searching for that last-minute Christmas gift and exhale.
And let’s join Mary on that magnificent night when our Savior entered the world.
Step into the scene with me: approached by an angel, Mary is told that she will carry and birth the Messiah by supernatural powers. She’s engaged to be married to a man who planned to divorce her quietly due to her pregnancy but was told by an angel in a dream not to divorce her. Mary’s cousin Elizabeth miraculously gets pregnant after being barren and Mary stays with Elizabeth for three months. Then, a census is taken which requires families to return to their hometowns, so Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem which is where Mary gives birth and lays Jesus in a feeding trough as his crib. After giving birth, shepherds come to see Jesus because angels also appeared to them proclaiming great news about this divine baby.
Phew! Let’s all exhale again…
Here’s what I want us to see in the miraculous hustle of this story: Mary paused.
Look at Luke 2:19, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
When you look at this verse in context of the whole chapter, it actually seems quite abrupt and even out of place. But I’d argue that it’s not out of place at all, it’s quite purposeful in the location and timing of the story.
In between the shepherds telling others about Jesus and then coming back to praise Jesus in the manger, it says that Mary paused by treasuring up and pondering in her heart all the events that had just occurred.
And this friends, is how we savor the season: treasuring up and pondering all the things that God has done. How does one treasure up or ponder something in their hearts? By meditating on it, by continually remembering in one’s mind and heart what God has done, by constantly reflecting on everything that occurred in the miraculous story of Jesus’ birth.
Imagine how reflecting on the wonder of everything that happened changed Mary’s perspective and attitude. She wasn’t consumed with fear, worry or anxiety of the unknown. Instead, she marveled at all God had done, at the story God was writing and the role she got to play in God’s redemptive plan.
And this, my friends, is how we can savor the Christmas season: purposefully pausing. Treasure this season and ponder it in your heart. Read Luke chapters one and two, then revisit it. Look for the wonder in all of it, look for the majesty in it all, look for the purposeful pause. Then, continually turn your mind toward those things.
I don’t want us to look at the calendar on December 26 and realize we missed Jesus this Christmas. Make time to purposefully pause by treasuring up and pondering on all the wondrous events of Jesus’ birth. In doing so, this will be a Christmas that you savored – not because you fulfilled all your social holiday responsibilities, listened to all the Christmas music you possibly could or bought the perfect gifts – it will be because you purposefully paused to meet with the Messiah.