“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19, ESV)
We all like to be surprised at Christmas (well all except for a few of you "present-snoopers"). Some of us could possibly some pretty special stories of amazing surprise gifts we've received -- jewelry, an new car, and engagement, a cruise (yea, I know, me neither) -- you name it. No matter how awesome or astounding your favorite gift ever was, I think we can all agree no one was more surprised than Mary when she received news of her Christmas gift.
"Oh, by the way, you're going to be God's mom. Merry Christmas!"
Her life was forever changed by the angel's message and the events that unfolded over the next days and months would have been indescribable. When Jesus finally came and the excitement died down and all the visitors left the stable, we're told in Luke 2:19 that Mary did something very profound: she treasured the birth of Jesus and she pondered it all in her heart.
As Mary treasured the blessed birth of her son and Savior, she was actually giving glory to God. She had taken time to reflect on God's gracious intervention into human history and what that might mean for mankind. There are so many things that we treasure at Christmas time: the holiday goodies, the beautiful lights and decorations, the excitement of children on Christmas morning -- all beautiful things. But where does Jesus fall on that list? Do we treasure him above all else or is he simply an add-on because, after all, the holiday is named after him.
The word we translate "ponder" means to think about something seriously or to try to grasp the true sense. Mary took the important step of trying to get a handle on what had just happened. What did it mean that the Messiah had come? How does this change the way we live? How can I express the hope-filled joy in my heart to my loved ones? How in the world do you try to raise a sinless child?
When we take time to reflect on the significance of Christmas, we are on the right track. Take pause this holiday season-- more than just a few minutes -- to wonder at the greatest surprise the world has ever know: the day when God became flesh.