Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pondering Treasures

Since December 2nd is already upon us, I want us to take the time today, before things get crazy in the season, to actually read the Christmas story. I wonder how many Christmases have passed us by without our eyes ever falling upon the words of this blessed story? I know that I have been guilty of failing to take the time to read the story the way God tells it, relying on someone else telling the story instead. I don’t want that to be the case this year.

As I sat listening to Pastor Andy Stanley on a video several days ago, he said this, “Sometimes we read the story and miss the message.” I regret to say, I’m afraid we do that more often than we would like to admit. So today – you have a little homework assignment! (Just look at is a being young and back in school again!)

Your homework today, “class”, has 3 parts:
  1.  I would like for you to read the Christmas story. You can find it in Luke chapter 2, which is the story we are most familiar with, and the story is also told in Matthew chapter 1, starting in verse 18. You can read one or both stories, it’s up to you. I know many of you read my blog from a place other than home, so if you don’t have a Bible with you, there are some great websites you can visit where you can look up the passage and read right from your computer. Check out or . These websites will even allow you to choose the version you like to read.
  2. The second part of your assignment is don’t read the story and miss the message.  What do I mean by that? I mean don’t just skim through the story because it’s familiar. Pay attention to the words and place yourself in the story, imagine the emotions of the characters, and as you do, see what God reveals to you.
  3. “Share with the rest of the class” something that captured your attention, seemed new, fresh to you in a comment at the end of today’s post. Besides having a moment with the Father in His Word, which is a great reward with lasting value, there is a reward in store for your “sharing with the class”! Everyone who posts a comment will be registered to win a copy of Unafraid by Francine Rivers. Unafraid is an awesome Christian fiction story characterizing Mary. This story takes you right into what life as the mother of Jesus must have been like. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will appreciate things about Mary that you probably never thought about. I read this book a few years ago and my mind always drifts back to it, especially during the Christmas season. I think you will love it.

If you don’t know how to comment, I have step by step instructions for you. Click on the “Comments?” link at the upper left of this page. Please don’t be afraid, if you can log on to the internet, you can post a comment, its really not hard.

Now, I will turn in my “homework”, and you can grade me if you want!

As I read the story again, several things jumped out, and I will probably share them with you over the next several days, but verse 19, in Luke 2, grabbed me. In verse 16, these shepherds show up after Mary had given birth. When they saw with their own eyes confirmation of what the angel told them while they were in the fields, the shepherds told everyone around them about their encounter with the angel. They shared the details with them that the angel had spoken, which they observed to be exactly true. All who heard their story were amazed at the shepherd’s story….. then you get to verse 19:

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

She just took it all in. She treasured up those moments as she listened to the shepherds and others talking around her. I wonder if it was because she knew there would be days before her that she would need to dig into these treasures to make it through one more day. Our God is so good, so perfect, so flawless, not only did He build up the faith of the shepherds and the others through the words of His angel, but when the story was retold, He provided Mary treasures for her heart. He was tucking those things away deep inside her heart for the difficult days ahead.

I need to take time to “treasure” more, so that I can “ponder” on His goodness more. Think about a treasure chest, it has a lock on it, so that no one can steal the treasure inside. She locked those moments securely inside her heart. Then she pondered. The original tense that this word “pondering” was written in means that it was a continuous and repetitive action. She didn’t just think about it once, Mary must have went back to this part of the story over and over in her heart and mind. Had it not been treasured, she would not have had it to ponder.

That “class”, is what I learned in my homework today!

Looking forward to hearing what you have learned from the words of the Master Teacher! Don’t read the story and miss the message. I will announce the winner of Unafraid on Tuesday of next week, and I’m tellin’ ya, you will love this book!

Author of the Christmas Story, how blessed we are to have the birthday of your Son recorded in black and white for us to read. I pray you enlighten the hearts and minds of my “classmates” and dazzle them with a nugget of this story that they have never noticed before. Father I know how faithful You are and am excited to see what You can teach me through the readers that I love so much. By the way, tell Mary how much I appreciate her for mothering my Savior.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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  1. I can’t even begin to imagine the excitement the shepherds had as the angel spoke and they rushed off to “see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” It says they “hurried.” I am going to guess that if there were speed limits they would have exceeded them. I can just imagine how they urged each other on to get there.

  2. Ive been "pondering" on these verses, the Christmas story. I must say the Trust that Joseph had amazes me. He had a dream. I have dreams, and I justify them as nothing more than dreams. But Joseph knew it was a message from God, and trusted on that. I'm curious about Josephs life prior to this situation, what lessons learned brought him to the level of intimacy with our Father, that he would not argue, or debate, question or justify...but simply trust.

  3. I was amazed at the things that happened at the temple in Luke 2:22-35. They went to the temple and presented Jesus to the Lord. At the temple, Simeon (who had been promised that he wouldn't die before seeing the Messiah) gathered Jesus in his arms and praised God. He was shouting that his eyes had seen God's salvation in sight of all nations, a light for revelation to us (Gentiles) and the glory of all your people Israel.

    It says that Mary and Joseph MARVELED at what was said about Jesus. I imagine them standing there with their mouths open and eyes wide. I bet they were thinking "wow"!!! I doubt their minds could even comprehend what this little child was about to accomplish in HIS life.

    I love those "wow" moments in the Bible, don't you?

    Julia Meyer


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