It’s Christmas morning. Hopefully, you’re wrapped in a blanket sipping coffee and enjoying the spirit that only this season can bring. But in reality, you may be in the middle of chaos. The kids are super hyped with excitement, your nerves may be a bit frayed with tasks and relationship dynamics, and the day holds some unknowns.
What always helps shift my perspective is to consider Mary, the mother of Jesus. Journey with me to Bethlehem over two thousand years ago to contemplate her circumstances. Within 24 hours, Mary has finished a long journey across the hilly countryside, encountered “No Vacancy” signs, given birth in stable, and experienced shepherds sharing a message from an angel. Now she holds the Son of God in her arms as the future looms.
Let’s join her in Luke 2 after the shepherds departed. Verse 2 tells us, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Did she treasure the moment of holding her firstborn, or bask in the knowledge that she shared a child with the Almighty God? Did she ponder the fact that this moment wouldn’t last forever, or question why God had chosen her to deliver the Messiah? Did she believe that her son would be a normal reigning king of Israel, or know deep in her heart that her son would sacrifice his life for all mankind?
As you reflect on your Christmas, what do you treasure? This is the last Christmas your children will be this age. Embrace each crazy moment, giggly laugh, and cluttered mess. What do you need to ponder? Maybe you’re like me and need to remember the holiday isn’t about the presents or the perfect situation, but it’s about the Savior who emptied Himself to become a baby in a manger amid the smell of hay and sounds of animals. Ponder your life without God sending His son to rescue your soul from darkness.
Most view December 25 as the end of Christmas. They tear down the tree, pack everything away in the garage, and are a wee bit sad that it has come to an end. But did you know that the twelve days of Christmas actually begin on December 25? It’s called Christmastide, and it’s twelve days to celebrate the Savior after His birth. It’s similar to having an entire birthday week. The wise men didn’t meet Jesus in Bethlehem because they were following the star and found him much later. January 6, which is called Epiphany, commemorates the arrival of the wise men and officially ends the Christmas season.
This year I’m going to leave my Christmas decorations right where they reside until January 6. Join me in celebrating the arrival of Jesus by continuing to enjoy your decorations, listen to carols, and treasure and ponder all of the season in your heart.
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/