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Advent 2021: Week 4 Devotional


Luke 2: 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the thingsthey had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


The visitation of shepherds and spreading of the news about Jesus must have caused equal feelings of astonishment and amazement to Joseph and Mary as they rested in the old stable.


Even though these developments shouldn’t have been entirely out of the blue since God was leading them across the landscape in the weeks and months prior, it must have been astounding see the early stages of God’s plan unfolding and, now, being confirmed by others who also received news from God about their baby boy.


Most notably, Mary is said to have “treasured these things and pondered them in her heart” (v. 19). It would be trite to contrast this to what we too often “treasure and ponder” whenever the modern festive season comes around, but I will discuss it regardless. This Christmas, as I engross myself in dazzling decorations, I am reminded that there was a woman 2,000 years ago who really had her attention, bemusement and wonder set on the right place.


"I am reminded that there was a woman 2,000 years ago who really had her attention, bemusement and wonder set on the right place"

In the suspense and anticipation that I use to wonder what’s neatly wrapped for me under the tree, I am convicted that I have eschewed the true reason for why these frivolities occur in the first place. As I sit in the guest room discreetly writing cards, I forget that the Saviour and King of the world had to rest in a horse trough because there was no guest room (Luke 2:7).


When guests come over, may it be like the shepherds, in the spirit of amazement about the news and birth of a Hero, rather than the pure respite of annual leave and good food.


"As I sit in the guest room discreetly writing cards, I forget that the Saviour and King of the world had to rest in a horse trough because there was no guest room"

And even though I haven’t been called to parent a Saviour, may I treasure Christ as Mary did as one of His flock, constantly pondering in my heart what His arrival has done for me and my wayward and distracted soul. May we all.

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