Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Celebrating One Night in Bethlehem Day 9

 The Pondering Heart

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

Luke 1:19; ESV

Much had changed in the life of young Mary.  It began with a visit from Gabriel who had the message that she would become pregnant with the Son of God.  The change continued with a visit to her relative Elizabeth who was also miraculously pregnant.  The change climaxed with the birth of Jesus and the events which surrounded the birth: a stable, shepherds, and angels.

In the midst of this change and the flurry of activity around her Mary paused and reflected about the events that had happened in her life.  The shepherds knew something great had happened and they praised God for allowing them to experience it.  The people in Bethlehem that night didn’t know exactly what to do with the shepherds’ story and they returned home puzzled.  Mary understood the events of that night to be a great treasure.  This was a treasure she would continue to return to as she reflected on what God was doing in the world.

Christmas can be a very busy and chaotic time of year.  The programs, gifts, parties, and special worship times can be overwhelming at times as we are tempted just to go through motions of the Christmas season.  Perhaps this year we need to follow the example of Mary and pause to ponder the events of Christmas.

Here are a couple of suggestions to help you reflect on the true treasure that Christmas is to the world.  Make an iTunes playlist of your favorite Christmas Carols and as the songs play think about the meaning of the words being sung.  Music has the power to direct and influence our thoughts, and so we should use it to direct our hearts to think about the true meaning of Christmas.
A second suggestion to help you reflect on the meaning of Christmas is to carve time out of the day, about fifteen to twenty minutes, and read through the first two chapters of Luke.  When you are finished take a few moments to think about what things must have been like for  Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, and finally Jesus (who left the glory of heaven to be born as a human child).  Try to put yourself in their shoes as you reflect on the importance of that one night in Bethlehem.

It is easy to get caught up in the events that surround the Christmas holiday, and that is why it is so important that we intentionally make the time to ponder what happened that first Christmas day. 

The point I want you to remember today is: Christmas provides us with a chance to reflect on what God is doing in the world.

1 comment:

middy1 said...

Reflecting and giving God praise for His true meaning and intent of Christmas--Salvation through a babe born with the purpose to be the sacrificial blood to cover the sins of mankind and reunite us to God, our Heavenly Father. Music is a solace and can get me back on the God path and focus. Here is a video of a beautiful song and the pictures depicting the lyrics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJFzTBqbOQc