Day 24: Treasured
Luke 2:19 - “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
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It’s Christmas Eve. Your gift shopping is completed (hopefully). And now maybe, just maybe, you can sneak in a few moments of peace on earth.
A lot of us will be singing carols in churches sometime the next few hours. We’ll probably light a candle and try to take comfort and joy in the thought that Jesus was born. And, possibly, God will feel close to you.
But the original birth of the Messiah didn’t feel like a carefully crafted Christmas Eve service. It was chaotic and uncomfortable and beautiful and glorious. It was the uncomfortable delivery from an unexpected pregnancy to an unlikely young woman from an unremarkable town in an unexpected season at an inconvenient time. Mary and Joseph had prophecies and dreams to comfort them, but from the standpoint of the natural world everything was wrong. They were far from home. Their living arrangement was less than ideal. They were forced to lay their newborn son in a manger instead of a royal bassinet.
And yet, it was exactly the arrival God wanted.
It was not the perfect Christmas. Not even the actual Christmas was the perfect Christmas. I’m pretty sure Luke includes the detail of Mary using a manger for a crib specifically to ruin the impression everything was perfect you might get from all that angel singing. The mother of God despite her best efforts wasn’t even able to provide the most meager comfort for the Son of God at His birth.
So if you’re chasing the ideal holiday, you’re after something even God didn’t require for His actual birthday. And yet, in the middle of all this, the Bible says Mary “treasured all these things in her heart”. God chose Mary, not because she could provide a perfect home, but because Mary could see treasure in the imperfect.
Let’s follow Mary’s example and treasure the imperfect. Let’s choose to treasure imperfect children and imperfect spouses. And let’s try to see treasure in our own imperfect selves. It is, after all, us, with all our imperfections, that Jesus came to save. We are imperfect. And we our God’s treasured adopted children.
I wish you and your family a quiet, holy night. But if your holiday should drift into chaos, please remember you are in good company with Mary and Joseph. And all of us. Treasure the imperfect and have a
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Copyright All images & writing © 2018 Charis Seed Photography