Posted by: glorifyhim1 | December 19, 2010

Christmas Treasures

 

Every year, sometime during the Christmas season, most of us hear the account of Jesus’ birth as recorded in Luke 2. Many of us witness that beautiful story re-enacted through Christmas plays and pageants and no matter how grand or how simple the production, I usually find myself overcome with the wonder, as well as the reality, of that first Christmas. I think this is what Christmas is all about. The things we treasure the most about Christmas are often hidden in the countless strings of twinkling lights, the beautifully-decorated trees, the colorful packages with bows and ribbons, and even in our many Christmas celebrations. For just a moment, think with me. What is your greatest Christmas treasure?

After Mary gave birth to Jesus, she wrapped Him in soft cloths and laid Him in a manger. Nearby, angels visited shepherds in the field and told them about Baby Jesus. The shepherds went to Bethlehem, saw the baby, and told everyone all that the angels had told them. The account in Luke tells us: “And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:18-19)

Webster defines ponder as “to meditate, consider carefully, to muse or reflect.” Do you wonder what went through Mary’s mind as she listened to the shepherds? Did she really understand what it meant to be the mother of the Savior of the world? Did she have any idea that one day she would watch Him suffer and die? The NIrV translates Luke 2:19: “But Mary kept all these things like a secret treasure in her heart. She thought about them over and over.” I am sure that Mary often remembered and thought about the night of Jesus’ birth. I am sure she considered what the shepherds announced and reflected on all that it meant. And just as any mother, I am certain that Mary treasured the birth of her Son and held the wonder of that special day in her heart.

There are many things I treasure at Christmas, but without a doubt my greatest treasure is Jesus. Yet I have to wonder if I keep His birth “like a secret treasure” in my heart. Particularly, at Christmas, when we celebrate His birth, do I meditate, consider, and reflect on what His coming means to me today? How do I handle this most precious of all gifts? Do I treasure the gift of Jesus by allowing His life to make a difference in mine?

I want to say “yes!” I want to say I treasure Jesus above every other thing at Christmas. Yet I know that it is often easy to allow the “busyness” of the season to get in the way of what I truly treasure. I am reminded of the story of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Luke 10:38-42 recounts how Jesus visited in the home of Mary and Martha. Martha welcomed Jesus and eagerly worked to serve Him while Mary chose to sit at His feet and listen to Him. Martha became irritated because Mary was not helping her and she complained to Jesus. Jesus, however, gently replied to Martha that she was troubled over ordinary things, but that Mary had chosen the right thing to do.

At one time I couldn’t understand Jesus’ rebuke of Martha. But now I see that Martha was allowing routine, ordinary things, to take precedence over the more important. Martha’s activity was not necessarily wrong, but it caused her to become anxious and resentful, and to neglect the more important time of listening to Jesus. Is that what I do at Christmas? Do I allow myself to become anxious over the decorating, shopping, cooking, and other ordinary, traditional Christmas activities? Or do I keep the wonder of Jesus’ birth like a treasure in my heart and allow it to motivate me and enhance the things I do? This Christmas, I pray that like Mary, the sister of Martha, I’ll choose the right thing to do. And I pray that like Mary, the mother of Jesus, I will ponder the birth of Jesus and keep it like a treasure in my heart.

May you, too, know the true treasure of Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

 

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