I thought I might do a little something, this year, that would help me focus on what this season is really about, and maybe it could help you, too. I’m going to take the story of Jesus’s birth, found in Luke 2, and go verse by verse, 1 through 24, to see what happens. Here we go…


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

This has always been one of my favorite verses, and mental images, from the Bible. I envision a very young Mary, made comfortable in fresh straw, with her newborn quietly suckling at her breast. She’s tired after the night’s events, but that wonderful, satisfied kind of tired, borne of something long-awaited that has finally, and successfully, come to pass. If it wasn’t enough that she’d given birth to the Messiah, and everything that the angel had told her nine months ago had actually happened, shepherds, visited by the entire heavenly host, had come, having been guided by a star.

So, there, in the quiet, save for the sweet sounds of a brand new baby, and the hushed snores of her husband, she remembered. She tucked each incredible moment, since she’d pledged obedience, into her heart, first turning them this way, and that, like a prism in the sun, considering every facet, and imprinting their light on her mind.

In this small way, I am like Mary. I’m a ponderer, a treasurer, a keeper of moments, which is probably why this verse so resonates with me. “Treasure,” in the Greek is συντηρέω (syntēréō), meaning to observe, keep and preserve from ruin. I love the order of that, because you can’t keep and preserve what you don’t observe. Since the first visit from the angel, it had not been all wine and roses for Mary. Quite the opposite, as she dealt with likely judgement and ridicule. But, like her, we need to live with open eyes, for everything – every moment – is worth preserving from ruin, even the painful, because they are often the moments that shape us most.

Whatever is happening around you, this Christmas, whether it’s all joy, all sorrow, or the more likely mixture of both, find a corner of quiet and observe. Gather up the moments and hold them up to the Son, marveling at the light of each beautiful facet, and, with thanks, tuck them in for safe-keeping, for every single one is a gift to treasure. Every single one.

Just ask Mary.


By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! ~ Romans 5:1-5 MSG