Are you in Christmas mode?! The songs, the preparation, and the lists, oh the lists!
I want to take a look at Luke 2:19 because I think it gives us a good example of how we should treat the Christmas season too.
What exactly is Mary treasuring up in her heart? The shepherds were spreading the word that the Savior had come and it would be great news to everyone. This was the Savior that the Israelites had been waiting for. Mary already knew this but now the angels told the shepherds and they were telling others as well. Word was spreading about her little baby boy and she was treasuring these moments of God’s promises coming true for her, storing them up to remember for the rest of her life.
Mary is a lot like us. Like us, she’s a sinner. Like us, she’s chosen by God and saved by grace. So, what she does in verse 19 is something that we should be doing too. We should be taking time, often, to contemplate the ways that God has worked in our lives. Mary is a godly example for us here as she simply receives and reflects on the grace and goodness that God has lavished upon her.
I think especially as moms who feel the need to finish our never-ending to do lists, it can be so easy for us to say we’ll be content later but it just doesn’t work for us now.
In general, we know this to be true but I know my to do list seems to get even longer during the Christmas season. We find ourselves saying things like, "I’ll be happy when I’ve finished all my Christmas shopping." Or maybe we’re looking even more forward and thinking about how future Christmases will be better – I’ll be happy when I have kids, when we have more money to spend, when I can put up nice decorations that won't all be broken, when I have grandkids to celebrate Christmas with.
Whatever it is, we can get stuck in a cycle of always wishing for the next thing. Instead of treasuring up the ways that God has been gracious and merciful to us in the past, we can begin to think we know what would make our lives better and decide it seems easier to just wait for it.
I think it probably could have been easy for Mary, in her sleep deprived state here with a newborn to think something like, “I’ll be happy when everyone knows I’m the mother of the Christ. Won’t that be amazing? Everyone will know then that I really have it all together.”
She was there with a scandalous pregnancy and had just given birth with animals around her. If we were her friends, I think some of us would be more than tempted to justify discontent in a less than ideal situation. But instead, the book of Luke tells us that she treasured what was happening in that moment and would continue to do so.
As Christians, we know that we are to look forward with hope to Christ’s return, when all will be made right and we won’t have the suffering we have now… but this passage prompts us at the same time, to rest where we are, hardships and all, and look back.
To look back at the ways that God has worked in our own lives.
Where we have seen his Fatherly love and grace towards us, that maybe we couldn’t see at the time, but looking back becomes more clear.
It’s different for each one of us and it’s different than it was for Mary but we all have unique treasures we can ponder.
One thing we all share in common is to look back at how God provided for us in Christ’s birth and life. That first Christmas long ago, Mary was holding an infant Jesus who would save her and saves us today.
Prayer for today:
Lord God, We thank you for this story of the birth of Jesus. We marvel at the fact that this is how you chose to save us from our sins, by sending your only son as a helpless infant to die for us. I ask Lord that you would help us to be thoughtful people this Christmas season. Help us to treasure Jesus. Help us to treasure the faithfulness you have to us. Help us to remember all that you have done for us. Let these be our treasures Lord that drive us to love you and those around us more.
Originally published November 25, 2016.