Advent Day 18: Pondering



My wife, Bethany, will be the first person to tell you that I greatly despise doing family pictures at every holiday gathering.  While it is a thing that her family does and even treasures, to some extent, regular holiday pictures are not something I grew up with.  They have reminded me that this helps us to “preserve the memories,” but it seems like all I remember in those moments it lining up to take pictures, often while our kids are protesting.
With that in mind, I reflect on Mary’s reaction to all that took place on the night of Jesus’ birth.  Scripture tells us that, despite the visitors and all the excitement, Mary spent time reflecting.  Though there is no greater explanation of this, I get the sense that the moment was not lost on her.  She paid attention to what was happening, especially, I think, because of what had happened.
I’ve often heard that when families come through difficult times, things like holidays are infused with more meaning.  This is true when families experience loss too.  We remember, rather acutely, the person missing and feel their absence to a greater extent than normal.  We wake up to the moments we have and the meaning contained within them.
Scripture says that God knows every moment of our lives, even before one of them came to be.  In some sense, God pays attention to every second He gives us.  Scripture invites us to do the same, following Mary’s example here.  It shouldn’t take a tragedy for us to think this way.  Rather, God’s call is to be awake to the life we live, actively participating in every moment and with every person we are around.  In a world of distractions, we are called to be present in each moment in the same what that God is present to us in the Incarnation.


Incarnate Lord,
In the greatness of your immensity, You are also very personal.
In Your infinity, God You are also intimate with us.
You know our every thought, You see our every need.
We confess that we often go through life in a sort of “waking sleep.”
Rather than being present, we are distracted and absent to those we love.
Help us to wake up, following the description of Mary in Scripture,
pondering and treasuring the moments of our lives and the people in them.
In doing so, we honor and glorify You who gives us all of the blessings of our lives.
We thank You for Jesus, for coming to dwell among us.
May our presence and love reflect Yours.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, we pray, Amen.

Leave a Reply