So Mary has been on the brain lately. That Mary, the mother of Jesus. In chapel today there were various pictures of her on the screen, by various artists over the years. One really struck me, because the woman depicted was really just a girl, as they believe Mary was, maybe just in her mid-teens. Young. Really young. And it's on the brain because it's Christmas, and because my sweet daughter-in-law is about to give birth to our first grandchild. Lots of reminders of mothers and babies.
Have you ever been around a group of women when they started talking about their childbirth experiences? It's uncanny how we remember the details----when labor started, what time we got to the hospital, what phone calls we made, what happened first, and next, and later. All of it. And if one woman so much as begins to talk about her experience, all the other mothers have to share theirs. Have to-----it's like it's on the inside of us, and the story has to come out. We have to share it. Every detail we remember. All of it. Compare and contrast, share the glorious experience with other women who can understand.
But think of the verse, the one at the end of the story of Jesus' birth, almost an afterthought when we read the Christmas story----
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
She KEPT these things. She PONDERED them. Just think about it-----who would Mary have told about the birth of Jesus? Who would have believed her? "Well, last week, Joseph and I went to Bethlehem, you know, for the census, and, well, I went into labor, and we looked and looked and looked for a room, but all we found was a stable that a nice innkeeper let us use. Long story short, I had my baby, right there in that stable, with cows, and sheep, and chickens right in there with us. And we named him Jesus, like the angel told Joseph to do. And speaking of angels, during the night, a bunch of shepherd showed up, saying angels had told them to come see the baby. Shepherds!! It was quite a night!"
Seriously, who could Mary have told? Who would have believed her?? Crazy teen mother, they would have thought. Married to an older man-----pregnant before she was even married to him. See, she couldn't talk to anyone. So she KEPT. She PONDERED. Don't you know she spent many hours wondering why God chose her? Why he sent His son to earth for her and Joseph to raise? And all the while, she KEPT, she PONDERED.
So this Christmas season, what are you keeping? What are you pondering? Are you thinking about why God sent Jesus to earth, to you, to me? Are you pondering what you should do now that He's here, reminded anew this season of His coming, His birth, and His death? All for you? All for us? For all of us?
"For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Keep that. Ponder that. It's what Christmas is all about.