You know how it is, moms, when our children do things, we store them up in our hearts to take out over the years, review and cherish because our children are so precious to us.
Mary was no different from you and me in that way, but her child certainly gave her many things to hold in her heart, didn't He?
I imagine that many are like me this morning, reading the first three chapters of Luke. It seems like I do that every year, and each year the story holds more in it that speaks to my heart as a mother and a child of God.
As I meditated on the Christmas story this morning, I paid particular attention to Mary. Maybe it's because my own children are getting older and when you add to that the fact that I've put a whole lot less muss and fuss in to the holiday the last two years, less focus on food, fun and shopping and more attention to God's Word, His Son, and living a godly life, but the words, "and Mary Kept All These Things in Her Heart" spoke to me. Mary must have spent the next 33 years storing up many things in her heart; many things that most of us mothers cannot relate to.
For example, Isaiah 53:3 says that Mary's son was a "man of sorrows", men "despised" him, "rejected" him, hid their faces from him and gave him no value. How does a mother hold that in her heart? I certainly know from experience that when my children are sad, but really not just feeling sad but living with sorrow day and night, or when other people make them feel unwanted and don't see their value, it gives me great pain in my own heart! Strong's Concordance states that the word "sorrows" is translated from the Hebrew word makove which means physical and mental pain and sorrow of the soul.
Another story in which Mary shows up is the Wedding at Cana in John 2:1-10. The wedding host runs out of wine and Mary goes to her son and tells him about it and so he tells his mother that it's not time yet for him to do miracles and reveal himself, but she tells the servants to do whatever he tells them to do and as a result, the wedding host ends up serving the best wine last when it is customary to serve the best first before everyone is tipsy and don't know what's what.
John tells us in his gospel that if all the things Jesus had ever done were written down that there would not be enough books to hold them!!!
Can you imagine being the mother of the son of God and watching Him grow up, learn to talk, say "mama" and "papa", take his first steps, lose his first tooth, tie his shoes and other ordinary things? If we as mothers of ordinary, everyday children store up their lives in our hearts, think about how Mary must have felt knowing that her son was the Savior of the world. Every thing he said or did must have made an imprint upon her heart and mind.
As we celebrate his birth today, whether it's in quiet contemplation or boisterous family gatherings, let us ponder anew the miracle that occurred that day in Bethlehem. That God himself saw our helplessness and cast off all about himself that was holy, godly, and supernatural, and became a "man of sorrows", "bruised for our iniquities", and "wounded for our transgressions" so that we might be restored to our intended relationship with God the Father.
Everyday is Christmas as far as I'm concerned. Emmanuel, God With Us, Prince of Peace, Kings, Jesus Christ, Yeshua, Messiah came and paid the price so that we might be set free from sin and its consequence...death!
If you ponder the things that Mary stored up in her heart, you can't help but celebrate the birth of her son!
Merry Christmas and may God bless you in the new year with his presence, his peace and his love and grace.