"But Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Luke 2:19 NIV
Christmas traditions are very special but in our family I had a desire to create a Christmas tradition that would also leave a spiritual legacy. For the past few years on Christmas morning I have given each member of our family a special Christmas card and inside the card I place a laminated scripture card. I select a new verse each year and as a family we adopt that verse as our family verse for the coming year.
The young children have a simplified version of the verse to place in their room. The adults can place their verse on their desk, in their Bible, or any other place that provides a daily reminder. This special gift to each family member is designed to unite our family in our faith and in our love for one another as we pray for each other throughout the coming new year.
When our children were young, we also had another tradition. Every Christmas Eve all of the cousins in the family would take part in a homespun Christmas pageant. The little boys would don their bathrobes, bath towels for the headdress, and walking canes for shepherd staffs. The little girls would sprout angel wings and one lucky girl would get to be Mary. After the pageant we lit candles and sang “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night.” After that we brought in a special birthday cake for Jesus’ birthday and all the children sang happy birthday to Jesus and blew out the candles.
For me these are priceless memories to be forever treasured in my heart. Many of you know exactly what I am talking about because you have your own memories. If you do not have any special holiday memories I would encourage you to make some family memories that you will treasure in your heart for the years to come.
Mary had her own set of Christmas memories. Even on the very first Christmas, Mary reflected on the events leading up to Jesus’ birth. I imagine that she thought about the loving care of Joseph. Perhaps she remembered the long trip to Bethlehem and the actual birth of Jesus. No doubt she was amazed that her child was the Son of God. Perhaps she might have even been flabbergasted that God would choose an animal stable for the birth place of his Son. Mary may have thought about the star, the shepherds, and the angels. Scripture tells us for certain that Mary treasured, stored and pondered the memories in her heart.
Mary must have been very humbled to have been used by God in such a privileged way. I see Mary just as an ordinary woman who was nothing more than an available, obedient servant willing to be used by God. It is also my privilege to care for my family. I too am amazed that God would entrust me with the awesome job of being a mother and now a grandmother. It is my desire to make memories that are worth storing and pondering in my heart. I am just an ordinary woman who wants to be available and obedient to God.
What are the things in your heart that you treasure and ponder?
Are you inspired by the example of Mary, an ordinary woman, who simply wanted to be obedient and used by God? Read: Luke 1:38, 46-49
Do you, like Mary, count it a privilege that God also wants to use you?
If you are a male reading this please pray for the women in your life who in the past have made Christmas meaningful for you. If you are married pray for your wife who works hard to make Christmas a special holiday for the family. Trust me men...it is a labor of love.
I know that you do not use every person in the same way. Some people are mothers amd fathers and some are grandmothers and grandfathers. Others wish with all their heart that they could be, but as yet it has not happened. Today I pray for all of those individuals. Some men and women are single and in many ways feel alone, yet you are able to show them traditions that they can share with others who may be in the very same place in their life. Lord this day I pray that all these people would embrace who they are in Christ Jesus. Every person gifted in his or her own special way. Lord I pray that we would all be men and women who are available and obedient to serve you in any way that you choose for us to serve.
In Your Name I pray. Amen