Today’s Reading: Luke 2:8-19

Each year during Advent, I go back and reread the stories of Christmas in scripture. The Gospel of Luke is my favorite, perhaps because of the centrality of Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the story. After the shepherds make their way to Bethlehem, see the baby in the manger, and share what the angels had said to them, we are told that Mary “treasured these things and pondered them in her heart.”

When I read this, I can’t help but wonder what it was that Mary was pondering. What was she wondering about? As she looked down into the face of her newborn child, which words stuck with her most and what questions filled her heart? Of course we can never truly know, with two millennia and a so many cultural differences standing between us. All we can do is imagine. I imagine she wondered about the potential of her baby. Maybe she questioned whether she was ready to be a mother, whether she had all of the skills she needed. Maybe she pondered her own role in all of this – why had the angel come to her? Why had she been chosen? Or maybe she was just filled with wonder because of the awesome love she felt for this new life.

When I imagine that baby lying in his mother’s arms, I too am filled with wonder and my heart is full of questions to ponder. I find myself wondering if we are doing this right, this whole Christmas thing. Are we meant to be this stressed and busy? Are we focused on the wrong things? How would we celebrate Christmas differently if we were truly filled with wonder by the baby in the manger? What might we treasure in our hearts?

As we journey through Advent, what are you pondering in your heart?