Luke 2:19

But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

And then we’re back to Mary. After shepherds and angels and heavenly songs and prophecies and promises we come back to this young girl. She has been, at various turns, frightened, perplexed, courageous, and willing. She has endured a scandalous pregnancy, arduous journey, and labor and birth in a stable. She has greeted shepherds and heard angels sing, birthed the Son of God from her womb and held the sleeping Messiah in her arms.

Now Luke’s story returns to her, as she holds all these things in her heart, pondering…well, probably everything. For it has been too much to comprehend, even to contemplate. And perhaps it will be like that for the rest of her days. But certainly at this moment, all she can do is ponder and wonder and let it all just begin to sink in.

That’s often the way it is with abundant blessing. It takes time to let it sink in. We’re used to thinking this way about tragedy, about emerging from the shock of devastating loss or illness, moving through various stages of denial or anger, hoping to come to acceptance. But I suspect the same is true of blessing, blessing so rich that it’s hard to understand, let alone believe. It takes time for it to sink in. To adjust to the new reality, to believe that this is, indeed, the way of the future.

And so we, too, are invited to ponder…well, everything. How God uses ordinary peasants to redeem the world. How God reveals the good news of redemption first to the lowliest. How God comes to us not in power but in weakness and vulnerability. How God embraces us and all the world through the birth of divine love in the Christ child.

It really is too much blessing to comprehend, let alone believe, quickly. And so the Christian tradition invites us to keep twelve days of Christmas. Surely even this isn’t enough to take it all in. But it’s a start.

Prayer: Dear God, bless us with moments of quiet wonder in these coming days to ponder the good news of the birth of your Son, that we might live in confidence and hope all the days of our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.