“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” ~ Luke 2:19

Angels rejoicing. Shepherds visiting. Townspeople talking. All kinds of extraordinary things were going on. Right in the middle of all this action and excitement, the Christmas story pauses with this simple little verse. Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

There were so many things going on that Mary didn’t have time to stop and realize the significance of it all. But instead of letting it overwhelm her, she did an amazing thing. She soaked it all in so she look back on it later and reflect on what it all meant.

There are so many things about the Christmas story that are hard to make sense of. A star appearing in the sky. Angels. A virgin birth. God in human form. Rather than trying to either explain it away or blindly accept it, maybe we should borrow a play from Mary’s book. Take all these wonderful things in. Treasure them. Ponder them in our hearts.

I love the hustle and bustle of Christmas. I love singing the songs and giving gifts and getting out and doing things just as much as the next person. But there is also a place – an important place – for treasuring, for pondering, for quiet reflection.

I know this flies in the face of everything we’re used to hearing. We’re used to action. One of the my favorite books the last couple of years is Love Does. But sometimes the most loving thing you can “do” is to treasure and ponder.

This Christmas, don’t try to explain away the things you don’t understand. Carry the contradictions around with you and let them inform you. And most of all, make sure to take a few moments away from the action to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart.