At this moment, I am writing the final entry into this devotional in my legal pad. As I have used several pages of this pad, I realized as I flipped the last page over, that some little munchkin named Sam has been doodling on these pages. It makes me smile. It immediately makes me think of him and in a split second relieve a few moments of his life…and I treasure them.
Mary was loyal and faithful to her son even to the cross. She was one of the last ones to stand by his sides. And some of Jesus’ last spoken thoughts were to his mother. He wanted to make sure she would be cared for after he was physically gone.
Can you imagine all of the emotion of a lifetime she must have felt? She was His mother to the very end…of is it the beginning.
My prayer and hope for you is that you have been challenged and encourages as you have journeyed through this Christmas story. Perhaps you see yourself in one of the characters in the story. Perhaps you have journeyed far in your life like the wise men, or you have diligently gone about your dailiness like the shepherds. Perhaps you have related to Mary or to Joseph as you face the “Impossibleness of your life’s circumstances.
Be not afraid. God is finding favor with you. He calls us to come to the manger and meet the Christ Child—The Son of God. He calls us to fall down and worship Him. He calls us with the signs and wonders of His creation. He calls us to offer ourselves as gifts. He calls us to let Christ be born new and fresh in our hearts. He calls you because He loves us. Treasure these things in your heart.
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
This is my favorite verse in the entire Christmas story. After all that had happened, after all that Mary had seen and experienced, she treasured this journey in her heart.
As a mother, I can so relate to this. There is a bond, a connection that a mother and child share that is unique and different from all others. Everyone has a mother. Think about that. Everyone! The quality of the mother and child relationship can vary dramatically, but everyone has a mother. Every year on my birthday, my mother calls me and says the very same thing. She’ll say, “40 years ago, (or however old I am) my life became even more special. I became a mom and you became my daughter.” Every year, she gives me that beautiful gift in words. She is saying to me—“I treasure you, my child. I have seen your life blossom from childhood to womanhood and I am so proud!”
I have started a similar tradition with my own children. It begins about a week before their birthday. I will begin by saying, “12 years ago, (or however old they are) I was experiencing this or that.” And on their birthday, I tell them the story of their birth, what they looked and sounded like when they saw the world for the first time. How I felt when I held them for the first time. How I loved them then and how I love them now…and I treasure these things in my heart.
“….and when they saw the star, they were overjoyed…they bowed down and worshipped him…and presented him with gifts…”
At the end of the wise men’s journey, they met Jesus. It was he they sought and it was he they found. They were overcome with joy and they knelt down and worshiped him. Then, they offered him gifts.
Have you ever been so overcome with joy about some blessing you have received that you just had to do something? Sing a song, jump for joy, give someone a hug, laugh or cry, or maybe all of the above.
I imagine God giving us blessings like parents give Christmas presents. As parents, we plan, we plot, we surprise, we delight, and then we watch as the gifts are discovered. We see the joy on our children’s faces. We hear the squeals of laughter, and we are pleased. It is music to our ears. How much more does God delight in blessing His children? He loves to surprise us and see the joy on our face. It is music to His heart.