But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
It has often seemed to me that Christmas Day has a different feeling than the weeks leading up to it. Throughout the previous month, the whole world had joined in a collaborative effort to create an atmosphere of otherworldliness. Decorations, lights, and family traditions combine to create a feeling of nostalgia, perhaps a longing to restore something that was lost. Sometimes even Christians can become distracted, allowing Christmas Eve to be more about maintaining old traditions than reveling in the news brought by the angel.
But by Christmas Day, the world has moved on from the fantasy that it had conjured. Next week, stores will stock their Valentine’s Day cards and reduce their TVs to Super Bowl Sunday prices.
Let’s not do that. No longer caught up in the countdown to Christmas, we can sit quietly in a corner of the Bethlehem stable for a few moments more.
By the end of that first Christmas Day, Mary and Joseph had experienced their own flurry of activity. First, the birth of the Child himself, truly a Miracle Baby, the Son of God in human flesh. Then the shepherds running breathlessly into the room, with their excited descriptions of angelic choirs and heavenly glory. And when these visitors finally returned to their flocks, shouting out praises along the way, the young family may or may not have had time to themselves. But Luke tells us that “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
What have you taken away from your time with the Word during this Christmas celebration? Were you struck by the unexpectedness of the almighty God coming to take on our human condition? Did you take time to consider your sins, for which the Christ child came to die, and repent of them? Did you reflect on how God’s gift of his Son is exactly the gift you need today and every day? May Jesus be your heart’s treasure all year round!
Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 38)
Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Prepare a bed, soft, undefiled
Within my heart, made clean and new,
A quiet chamber kept for you. Amen.