A Sign for Mary

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Prayer:

Lord God, help us to meditate on what Christmas means for us and to treasure these beautiful truths in our hearts every day. In the name of your Son and our Savior we pray. Amen.

Devotion:

Luke 2:19

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Many of us know Luke chapter 2 so well. “In those days Caesar Augustus…” You could probably recite the first 20 verses by memory. Some of us might slip into the old King James version, but these words have been seared into our brains after so many times we’ve recited them in children’s Christmas services, heard them read in church, heard Linus recite them in A Charlie Brown Christmas, or read them in our own Bibles.

It’s an exciting story, with a couple on a long journey frantically searching for a place to stay to give birth to a child. A child is born into this world into the humblest of places. Shepherds minding their own business are woken by an angel who tells them the promised Messiah has been born and they should go see him. They witness a concert of angels singing the praises of God’s glory and favor for the people of the world. They rush off to find the baby, they worship him, and they run around Bethlehem telling everyone they can about it. It’s an exciting story, packed with action and intrigue.

But right near the end of this intriguing, action-packed, well-known story is one sentence that often gets overlooked. But it’s just as intriguing as the rest of the story. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Consider what Mary has seen and experienced over the last nine months. An angel told her she was going to give birth to the Savior of the world (Luke 1:1-38). As a virgin, she became pregnant, as foretold by the prophet that a virgin would give birth to a son, who would be Immanuel, “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14). Her heart was overwhelmed with joy that she would be the one chosen for such an honor (Luke 1:46-55).

And then, the Lord kept her safe through an 80 mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem to fulfill the prophecy that our of Bethlehem would come a ruler who would stand and shepherd his flock forever (Micah 5:2-5). And then, that baby was born into this world, and she got to hold her Savior in her arms, nurse him, care for him, and praise him for coming to rescue her from her sins. She got to witness shepherds come in and tell an amazing story about the heavenly birth announcement and the excitement they couldn’t contain.

And Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. As we gather together this Christmas Eve, let us too, treasure up all these things God has done for us and ponder them in our hearts. Christmas will quickly pass, but may the joy of a Savior, the peace he brings, the promise of eternal life he fulfills, be the hope of our hearts all year.

Additional Reading: Luke 1:46-55

Family Questions:

1.If you were Mary, what would have amazed you most about all that you had experienced?

2.What are ways that we as a family can be sure that we are treasuring up all these things and pondering them in our hearts this Christmas, so we keep our proper focus?

Going Deeper:

1.Read the Song of Mary in Luke 1:46-55.  What does Mary proclaim about herself?

2.What does Mary proclaim about God?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, as we celebrate Christmas once again, focus our hearts on your love come down in flesh. Help us to treasure the blessings he brings us not just today, but every day, until we reach our heavenly home.  Amen.