“Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart (Luke 2:19 ESV).
Several times in the Gospels we read that Mary pondered things in her heart. What in the world were the “things” Mary pondered on or about the first Christmas? Unlike 21st century Christmas, Mary’s “things” weren’t newly bought, she wasn’t concerned about returning them, or giving them to Goodwill. Mary didn’t ponder how to make January charge cards payments.
The liturgical Christmas is a twelve-day season beginning with the celebration of Christmas Day on December 25 and continues through January 5. These 12 days are a gift Father God provides for us to ponder, to think about, what is important and to discount, or not think about, what isn’t important. Now, the halls are decked, gifts exchanged, and most parties over.
Mary completed an 80-mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, delivered her first-born son in a barn, and showed him to shepherds who stopped by. If Mary had time to ponder events surrounding Jesus birth, do we have any excuse for doing less? During the 12 days of Christmas, focus your mind on pondering what it means for God to come to earth and into your life. Take time to recognize and ponder the “good news of great joy that will be for all the people” Luke 2:10 ESV).
As you sit beside the Christmas tree, consider that Jesus is the light of the world, consuming all the world’s darkness. What darkness has been allowed to creep into your thoughts and actions this year, seeking to consume your soul? Where is Christ leading you to be light in the world in the new year? Do the gifts you share lead others to eternal treasure?
Reflection: In many churches, the church office is closed Christmas eve through the day after New Year’s Day. Perhaps, even liturgical churches export a message that Christmas is a day rather than a season.
*Written by Denise May, St. John Lutheran Church, Roanoke, Virginia.