With Mary as our example, it’s time to ponder.
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“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”
Luke 2:19 King James Version
It’s normal for children to play with the nativity figurines following one of our four worship services on Christmas Eve at Holy Cross. This donkey has been held by many children, some of whom now have children of their own playing with the same donkey. It’s no wonder that her ear is held on by duct tape.
Yes, you wrapped the presents and placed them under the tree before everyone arrived at your home. Yes, the turkey wasn’t over cooked and you only set off the smoke alarm once. Yes, you managed to keep your children from breaking their new toys nine out of ten times. But it takes a lot to enjoy a “successful” Christmas. All you want to do is sleep in.
I’ve got a feeling that Mary was pretty worn out after giving birth to her Child. My wife, Janice, was exhausted after 27 hours of labor without meds when our first son, Joel, was born. After all the prodding and poking, the crying and shaking Joel finally fell asleep as I held him. But his sleep was nothing like Janice’s. She had worked hard and she rested.
Mary had more to contemplate than the joyous rigor of giving birth. Heaven announced the arrival of this baby’s birth to shepherds, the first guests of the newborn King. These shepherds delighted in telling the holy family what they experienced. In the pain and recovery of childbirth, this new mother contemplated what she had experienced, treasuring these moments in her heart.
We’ve heard the story. We’ve lived the story. And now, for the next eleven days, we have the opportunity to treasure the story in our hearts. Though today we might feel like this child-battered donkey, may we see today as the beginning of an amazing journey into the mystery of God taking on human flesh.
Text and Picture Copyright Douglas P Brauner