Christmas Morning at our house erupts with sudden frenzy. The buildup of Advent, the anticipatory nature of Christmas Eve worship, culminating with a moment of quiet introspection with the candlelit a’capella singing of “Silent Night”… they all combine to make the dawn of Christmas Day an explosion of exuberance and joy. Despite our best efforts, the kids usually have the presents unwrapped in just minutes and then disappear into play. The adults survey the aftermath of wrapping paper and packaging and utter words that go something like, “well, I guess that’s that.” As if to say, “All done. Time to get ready for the New Year.” There is a strong temptation to treat the culmination of the Nativity as the end of something. Perhaps it is better to think of it as a beginning instead.
When we read Luke’s familiar retelling of the shepherds’ visit to the Holy Family, verse nineteen seems to consistently stand out for some reason, “Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.” For the last nine months her life was one of unending surprises and revelations: words from an angel, prophecy from a relative, dreams from her husband, and now a visit from strangers who relay a message from the heavenly host. These aren’t things she fully understands, but must treasure in order to continuously ponder.
Should we not do the same with God’s revelation to us? The mystery of Christmas isn’t something to observe, then put back in the closet for 11 months. That God would come to us in Jesus is a mystery to treasure and ponder along the entire journey of life. The good news of great joy for all people that a savior is born — God in human flesh. That’s something we’ll never be, “all done with.”
Amazing God, grant us the faith to treasure this good news. Let us ponder it. Let us wonder with awe. Let us rest in your promised peace, through Christ our Lord. Amen.