This season brings so much joy. The halls are decked. Family gathers. Favorite dishes are prepared. Gifts are given and received. But in addition, our pace is often hurried. We feel the pressure to out-give others or give to those we love beyond our means. Our schedules are entirely too full. We say yes to too many events. We get lost in it all and tend to forget the real reason this season exists. As we focus on the example we set this season, let’s draw our attention to the only reason our witness even exists, Jesus Christ.
We are all guilty of missing Jesus at times during the Christmas season. Many have grown up in church and heard the Christmas story for years. It is easy to go through the motions of reading the passages, singing the carols, lighting the candles, and moving on to the next event. I am convicted of my need to see the birth story of the Savior through fresh eyes. If the story isn’t alive in me, how can I expect it to be alive in my children, family, and those watching me?
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19
Let’s take a few moments to reflect on Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was just an ordinary girl from the middle of nowhere, who God chose to carry the Promised Messiah. The gift that she carried couldn’t be explained naturally and subjected her to judgment and ridicule, yet she submitted. Mary went on a journey with Joseph, far away from home, on the back of a donkey. I can’t imagine the discomfort she must have felt traveling that way so far along in her pregnancy. And of how she probably longed for the comfort and care of having her mother nearby as she prepared to become a mother herself. And then, when the time finally arrived for her to give birth, the only place available was a barn. Can you imagine? Mary, an ordinary girl, was seemingly inconvenienced in every way throughout the entire journey of carrying and birthing the Messiah, yet she was willing.
The time came for Mary to give birth. The redeemer of the world was born. Mary knew this promised child would change the world. She must have held Him close, soaking in His baby soft skin and his every precious tiny detail. It didn’t matter that she was in the middle of filth and hay and odor and animals; Mary was holding the Savior of the world, the one she had carried, and nothing else mattered at that moment. She knew her time with Him would be short, so she savored every sweet moment before His arrival was proclaimed to the world.
The arrival of Jesus was announced to the shepherds. They traveled from afar to marvel at His birth and then went back to share of the hope that was born. All the celebration. All the praise and glory to God. The Christ child was being shared with the world, and Luke 2:19 states, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” You see, she had been the one carrying this Savior in her womb. She knew Him intimately. While majesty is on display for the world to see, Mary reverently and preciously pondered. Oh, what treasure she carried, and oh, what treasure unfolded right before her eyes. And she simply pondered.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we carry the Savior as well. We should be so mindful of how we bear the witness of Jesus this Christmas season. If he lives in us, perhaps we should slow down and focus on what matters. Maybe we shouldn’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle and craziness of it all. Let’s pause to ponder the weight of such a Savior. He is a redeemer that’s birth radically changed the world. To think that He was born to die for me, you, and all of mankind! Wow, that is something to ponder.
Let’s pause to ponder the weight of such a Savior.
So I encourage you to take a look at your calendar and your to-do list this holiday season. Look at it through the lens of making sure you are building time to ponder the things that are the treasures of your heart. Jesus is most definitely worth celebrating, so celebrate big. But don’t forget to pause frequently and reverently to observe the treasure of the birth of the King!
Whitney Davis is a wife, mom, encourager, and visionary. She is a South Carolina girl who now calls Oklahoma home. She worked for 12 years as a Labor & Delivery and Mother/Baby nurse before transitioning to full-time ministry to women. Whitney grew up in the IPHC and her husband, Brad, has been an IPHC minister for over 20 years. They have a blended family of five children- Carmen, Evelyn, Sullivan, Ellington, and Deacon.
Whitney has a passion for helping women on the journey of becoming more like Jesus. She desires for Women’s Ministries to be the arm of the church that is uniquely positioned to equip women for the work of discipleship.
Whitney loves having coffee with friends, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.