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Christmas Countdown 2019…. Day 2


Well, even if we didn’t know who the author of Luke was, I would have guessed it was a man who wrote it. 

Not that all men are brief on words and all women use up theirs and any extra floating about in the atmosphere…but for the most part I would say that we females tend to provide the color commentary on life while the males tend to stick to the basic short version. 

At least that is true in our home. 

As I settled in for the second day of reading through this account of the life of Jesus, it went from birth to adult in 52 succinct verses. 

No visit from the magi.

No flight to Egypt. 

Just a whirlwind of the “decree going out from Caesar Augustus” to “how Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.” 

And I want more. 

I want the details filled in. 

I want the stories and the moments. 

And I find them in a place as familiar to me as my love for words. 

I find the promise of all the treasures in the pondering heart of Mary. 

Glimpses of it are given in verse 19 and again in verse 51.

But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. 

Luke 2:19 CSB

His mother kept all these things in her heart. 

Luke 2: 51 CSB

How good of God in the midst of the passages He allowed for us to hold on to regarding the birth and childhood of our Savior to let us know He understands this mother’s heart. 

How good of God to allow us to see that He knows about that place in us where we keep a collections of thoughts, feelings and musings that are just too big for our words to capture and express.

I do not know that I speak for all people, but pondering and storing up is something that I understand. 

Mary had watched as all these events swirled around her. 

She had given birth, and while the conception was miraculous, we have no reason to believe that the labor and delivery were anything but fully human in less than desirable surroundings for such an event. 

With the baby cleansed and wrapped and her recovering, a band of strange men burst in blabbering about a sky full of angels and kneeling in worship before this infant she had just laid down to sleep. 

In obedience to the Law of Moses, after eight days she and Joseph took the baby to the Temple for circumcision and dedication. They are barely in the gates when a stranger takes the child from her arms and begins praising God and prophesying over him as a light to the Gentiles. 

As he hands the baby back to her, he speaks of the promise of Israel fulfilled and then leaves her with the news that all of this great destiny will pierce her soul. 

Imagine every time you have ever had a bad feeling about something that you knew was God giving you a heads’ up…and no amount of naming and claiming, positive thinking, speaking of things that are not as if they are is going to change to course of it…that’s what this young mom knew that day. 

Next a woman who was definitely over 100 years old approaches and begins to thank God and repeat the same message over this child. As they stand in the midst of the Temple, Anna prophesies that this baby will redeem Israel. 

The passages jump to the family’s return to their hometown of Nazareth and closes with a trip to Jerusalem for Passover when Jesus was twelve where somehow they lose Him and have to go back. For three days they search for Him and finally find Him in the temple, apparently asking and answering questions. 

If you have lost a child in a department store, you know the panic that rose deep in this mom.

Fully God and fully man…even His own mother struggled with how to live in relationship with Him. 

I love the line from one of the modern Christmas hymns that asks…

Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?

This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you?

Mark Lowry 1984, Mary, Did You Know?

Precious isn’t it?

This pondering in the heart is where I can find the Christ of Christmas.

Sorting through the memories and the years, the treasures and piercings of my own heart.

Ghosts of Christmas past, present and future swirl around me as I unpack the decorations and set aside time to meet with friends. Preparing gifts for family and others…addressing cards and all the while knowing there is so much more.

As I invite the Savior to be born in me, the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Counselor enters into the midst of all my pondering to help me find my Redeemer.

It is the pondering and storing up in each of our hearts…men and women who follow Christ…that we ask the questions that are tucked away in the deepest places. 

Advent is this gift of time each year to invite the Christ of Christmas into our questions and to listen and ponder and wait for the answers only He can give <3


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