I love the words Luke uses…Mary “pondered” all these things – which speaks to a curious wondering, a thoughtful consideration of what God intended, how God was moving and acting, and what it would mean for humanity. Luke also says she “treasured up” these things and held them in her heart. Certainly this love and mercy that Christ brings is the chief treasure of The Church, and the most valuable gift any of us will ever receive! We can only truly know and understand it’s depths with prayer and reflection.
In the fast-paced rush of preparing for Christmas, we seldom take the time to “ponder” and reflect on what an amazing thing it was for the Lord of Heaven to come to us so that God could show us first-hand, up close and personal just how much HE treasures US. We’re so used to built-in obsolescence and the lure to get “good stuff cheap,” that we rarely “treasure” much of anything anymore. And yet, the beauty and promise of Christmas is that when all the glitz and glimmer are gone, when what’s in today is out tomorrow, the love and mercy of Christ will be new every morning, and last long after the night is gone.
One of the reasons we celebrate a variety of traditions in our worship together. and in our family lives, is that they provide small, comforting, familiar glimpses into who He is and who we are because He loves us. That love comes to us, over and over again in the prayers He hears and answers, the strength and courage He provides when we need it, and the wisdom He gives us to choose abundant life that provides lasting results. That love also comes to us most frequently and fully in the people with whom He has graced our lives.
This year, I encourage you to embrace the “tradition” of treasuring what is going on around you, and ponder it all in your heart. Treasure the gathering of those you love around your table and your tree. Treasure the gathering of His people in worship – singing praises and carols of hope and joy, and treasure the very blessedness of our humanness together with new life in Him. Take the time to savor the warmth and generosity that flows among us because of His good gifts.
And then…ponder and treasure them the rest of the year, so that Christ might bless and strengthen your heart with light and love-filled clues as to the true treasure He is for us and for you, so that you may share that treasure with gratitude and joy!
Wishing you Christmas blessings and a New Year filled with treasured awarenesses!
- Pastor Eileen