But the angel said to [the shepherds], “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

When they had seen [Jesus], they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:10-11; 17-19

Before the birth of Jesus the angel Gabriel had come to Mary saying; “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:31-33)

Mary must have wondered at the extraordinary chain of events. Although she didn’t fully comprehend what the angel told her and what the shepherds related to her about her baby boy, she treasured their words in her heart and pondered them quietly. She must have wondered what her little boy might grow to be like and what his future would hold.

Although any experiences I’ve had are the size of the tiniest pea next to Mary’s, the description of what she went through remind me of how I felt as a young child when I was told something very special was going to happen. I wasn’t able to picture it, but thoughts of the mysterious “something” went round and round in my head. I “treasured it and pondered it.”

Where do we keep the most precious and most mysterious of thoughts – puzzling thoughts we have no way of describing to others? The best place I’m sure is safely inside our hearts. Who would believe us if we told?

All this causes me to wonder what it must have been like for young Mary – thought to have been only fourteen years old – to have her first child as a virgin, to give birth in a stable among farm animals, to be told all the things she was about Him. She must have had some anxiety. But the Bible shows that she did trust God.

What did the things Mary treasured and wondered about actually come to mean as her son Jesus grew? If Mary could only have known! If the world she lived in had only known what was taking place in Bethlehem! But we know today. Today we fully realize the difference that little baby was to make. Have you ever thought what kind of a world we would have if Jesus had not been born?

Isn’t it amazing when you consider that one little baby, born to a humble young mother, in a humble stable, in the humble little town of Bethlehem, as an adult having the attitude of a servant, God in human form, a man made to suffer by those He had come to save? From beginning to end He led a life of humility.

Jesus taught us how God wants us to live. He showed the world what true love, compassion and forgiveness look like. At Christmas time we celebrate – not only a baby – but all He became and did for us and for the world. He came to bring us freedom from the wrongs we do, wrongs that keep us from joy and an appreciation of life. Who would have known that this little child could bring us all this?

This is the season to celebrate Jesus’ birth. It’s the season to rejoice in the love our Father God has shown us through Him.

Christmas blessings to all of you as you celebrate.