Christmas morning is a time of excitement across America. Children get up early and hurry to see what’s under the tree.
In Luke 2, when we read about the night of Jesus’ birth, we see that the shepherds hurried to see Jesus. Oh, that we would be that excited about the gift God has given us in His Son!
And this was a surprise to me: In verse 19, it says Mary pondered that visit from the shepherds. Even though I’ve read that scripture over and over again, I’d never properly placed Mary’s pondering. I’d always thought it was the Wise Men and their amazing gifts she had pondered. But no, she didn’t ponder the honor or the expensive gifts or the value they represented.
Instead, it was the birth of the Savior and the visit by the shepherds that Mary tucked away into her heart and mind. The lowly, dirty shepherds and a crying Baby boy.
Mary pondered the message, not the Magi. She pondered the Baby, not the bows. She pondered everything this Child she had just birthed would do for all mankind. After all, He was the Son of God.
This Christmas we, too, need to ponder . . . not the presents . . . not the food . . . not the entertainment. Like Mary, we need to ponder the Babe, God’s Gift to us. We need to ponder the sacrifice and the message. The shepherds’ only gift was the message they shared, and by spreading the Good News of His birth, they shared the Hope of the world.
That message could be our gift, too. We could use our gifts in order to give the gift of Christ. Could we—would we—share the Good News with those who need a Savior?
We can never give equal gifts with God. We can only give God ourselves—our flawed, sinful, prideful selves. And yet He gave us His Son–the perfect, sinless, humble Lamb of God—to die in our place.
And that’s a gift everyone needs to hear about.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
I pray God’s blessing as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver!
(The photo is from about 7 years ago, back when my grandchildren and I would give our gift to the family–the Christmas story. Sadly, it’s a tradition that got lost as they grew older. I will forever cherish this photo and the love that went into The Skelton Christmas Play. )