Devotional: December 26, 2020
Updated: Dec 28, 2020
18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Luke 2: 18-20 NRSV
On this day after Christmas, we turn to the story of what happened after Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
The shepherd’s eyewitness account of the angels telling them of Christ’s birth sparked amazement. The shepherds did not keep the amazing account of the story their story to themselves. They shared it far and wide. All who heard it were amazed. Eventually, they returned to their fields, and their sheep. Yet they were basking in the glory of God, praising Him about all that had happened, even as they returned home.
As you consider the meaning of Christmas, I hope that you will appreciate this story with awe and wonder. It is inspiring how much God loved us: enough to send His only Son to us. As the sin and darkness of the world is very much present, so is the light of Christ. Jesus continues to shine, and will never stop. May we always be aware that the light continues to shine in the darkness, and the darkness will never overcome it.
However, Mary’s reaction to all that had happened is slightly different than the shepherd’s take. Mary’s reaction was even more personal. She pondered the meaning of the shepherd’s words, and undoubtedly all that happened. She treasures everything: from the angel’s initial visit, to God convincing Joseph in a dream that the Child within her was from the Holy Spirit, to the journey to Bethlehem, to the birth of the Child, to the visit of the shepherds.
To ponder is to reflect. In each of our worship services, we always include a “moment for reflection”, where we give worshippers the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of God’s love for them. As you consider the meaning of this Christmas, most likely you will view Christmas 2020 differently from your past celebrations of the Christmas holiday. Yet, nothing changed with the purpose of Christ’s birth. He is still the most perfect light of the world. Wherever we are, and no matter how our lives have changed this last year, the Lord has not abandoned us. He is still with us. God hasn’t left our side.
My hope and prayer for you today, and every day, is that in spite of all that changes around the celebration, we will still ponder, reflect, and treasure this amazing story of God’s love: the birth of the Christ child.
“ For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9: 6 NRSV
May you be blessed by the light and love of Christ throughout these twelve days of Christmas, and forevermore…
Lord, I thank You today, and every day, for the gift that matters the most: the gift of Your perfect Son. Help me to ponder and reflect upon all that You want to give me freely. May my words, my actions, and my thoughts show my acknowledgment of, and appreciation for, something that only You can provide to me. Comfort me when I am sad, frustrated, feeling helpless, or angry. May I turn to You for the companionship that I need. Thank You for never turning away from me, but for embracing me with Your tender love.
With a heart of deep appreciation, I pray this prayer in the name of the Child born in Bethlehem, Your Son and My Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen