Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Today’s text

Luke 2:16-19

So the shepherds hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds said to them. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.


Mary pondered these things. And what is this?

To ponder is to throw things together in one’s mind to compare, to see what fits, to notice what sticks together to create meaning and significance.

Mary might have pondered the angelic messenger who told her she would bear a special child, the child of God. She might have relived her fear, her uncertainty, her incredulity that this could happen at all, let alone to her.

She might have savored her prayer of thanksgiving to God for choosing her, for blessing her, as well as the stares of those who shamed her for this out-of-wedlock child.

The discomfort and uncertainty of the long trip to Bethlehem would have come to mind, the night search for a place to lie down and labor to birth this child, feeling alone and afraid of what birthing would mean for her.

A thousand thoughts could well have raced through her heart and mind, awakening conflicting feelings and confusion, so much that it was impossible to sort it all out, pain, joy, promise, anxiety, relief, elation, apprehension

All this washed over her as a few smelly shepherds, fresh from their sheep, arrived with an unbelievable story and the voices of angelic song still ringing in their ears.

What was she to think, to feel, to know … from all that came together in her mind?

But maybe this moment was much simpler.

Maybe as she gazed into her infant’s face, maybe as she played with his tender fingers the torrent of feelings disappeared and all that remained was the wonder of the precious life in her hands--and the awareness that somehow, beyond her knowing, this child was a holy blessing to the world.
Maybe all that mattered was loving and caring for this child. Maybe the love this child awakened in her overwhelmed all the thoughts, questions, fears, uncertainty, shame, elation, pain and anxiety that had filled her for the past nine months.

Maybe if you add it all up, that is all that really matters much to God … or to Mary.

Maybe that’s the crystal clear message of this night for every new day.

Pr. David L. Miller

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