When Chris and I got married, my mom passed on a book that we used in our family at this time of year. Christ in Christmas: A Family Advent Celebration, by James Dobson, Charles Swindoll, James Montgomery Boice, and R.C. Sproul is a slender book that contains a wealth of wisdom. It is broken down into the weeks of Advent, with a Scripture reading, song, prayer, and meditation for Sundays and a shorter Scripture passage and reflection for each weekday. Right now, Jonas is too young to sit and listen, but I have enjoyed reading through the book myself and looking forward to the time a few years from now that we can celebrate with an Advent wreath and these passages as a family tradition.
…Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”
[Luke 2:19]. What Mary did went beyond mere amazement, though she marveled too. This wonderful woman also made an attempt to remember everything that was
happening to her in those days and then to figure out what each of these things
meant. That is, she took time to think about spiritual things, just as we should
do. Christmas is a very busy time. But our time is badly spent if we allow the
business of Christmas to keep us from reading the Christmas story again and
again, and thinking about it.
As a mom, I find myself trying to save up the moments and the memories too. I keep a detailed scrapbook and a journal, as well as this blog. I can go back and read the letter I wrote to Jonas when he was just a few weeks old, and it brings the sights and sounds and emotions of those days flooding back to me.
How much more desperately must Mary have clung to her memories of Jesus? Without a camera, a computer, a baby book… she knew that she was witnessing miraculous days, and I’m sure her mother’s heart was full to bursting as she tried to keep each moment fresh in her mind.
I like that this author points out that an important part of what Mary did was reflection on what those daily miracles meant. Of course it is important for us to reflect on the miracle of Christmas – but I think it’s important for us to carry the practice of reflection throughout our year. If you have young children, you know that each day is a small miracle of growth, change, and wonderful discovery. If you aren’t around children, there are still miracles happening in your daily grind – you just might have to keep your eyes open a little wider to see what you’ve been missing.
God is in the details. If we take care not to get so wrapped up in the “have to,” “need to,” “must do” lists of this busy season, we can see His hand all over our lives. When you reflect on the miracle of a Holy Birth this Christmas, why not quietly look back on the little moments of your day as well. When we are still and quiet, God speaks to us and reveals what he has been showing us all along.