By Tony Perkins ~
“Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Luke 2:19
Christmas can be one of the busiest times of the year. Our many activities can be meaningful and fun but can also be exhausting and even distracting.
How much time do we spend reflecting upon what really happened that first Christmas? Hectic days work against quiet reflection. Additionally, we’ve heard the story of Jesus’ birth so often that it can seem almost incidental to our celebrations.
But when we truly grasp what took place in the manger in Bethlehem, the story of Jesus’ coming will never become routine. God intervening in human history, becoming man, living as one of us: This isn’t just a sweet story about a young mother and her baby but the epic account of the greatest event in universal history.
What’s also extraordinary about all of these things is that they are true. They are not “cleverly-devised tales” (1 Peter 1:16) but facts of history. Luke, in his account of Jesus’ birth, goes to great pains to make this clear. He writes of a Roman emperor, a Syrian governor, and a census registration. He describes the lineage of Jesus’ adoptive father Joseph to underscore Jesus’ rightful claim to being Messiah, and outlines the trail from Bethlehem in Galilee to Nazareth in Judea. Luke is making as clear as he can that his report is of something that actually happened in time and space.
Absorbing all of this can be hard. That is why we have to become like Mary. In the midst of noisy animals, having just given birth, and tending to the needs of a little baby, she treasured the experiences of that universe-shattering moment and pondered them.
If anyone ever had an excuse for not thinking about the deep things of God, it was the virgin mother of God’s Son. The spiritual, physical, and emotional demands on her are almost unimaginable. But even as she fed her newborn son or wrapped and re-wrapped the cloths keeping him warm, she wondered at the work of the Lord in and through and around her.
As we celebrate Christmas this year, let’s truly celebrate the birth of the Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ. Let’s be more like Mary this Christmas and ponder the incredible miracle that took place in the hills of Judea which altered the course of human history.
From all of us at Family Research Council, Merry Christmas!
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.