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Dec. 15 Devo

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  • Dec. 15 Devo

    Remembering the Wonder of Christmas

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

    My first job ruined the Christmas season for me.

    I worked in the watch department at Liberty House Ala Moana. Being on the mall level was a special form of torture. I was bombarded with the general music that was played all over the store, and then there was the piano that played by itself one story above me, and then there was the music coming from the juniors’ section, which competed with the make-up section, which had at least two or three different songs playing at the same. All these different sources of audio stimulation vying for the consumer’s attention was overwhelming to say the least, but come mid-October and increasingly earlier every year, all of them would play Christmas music, non-stop! I found my attitude towards Christmas not just shifting, I started to dread the season too. I found that it had completely lost its magic, and it all felt so hollow.

    Luckily I left that job years ago, but it left a lasting effect in that I refused to acknowledge Christmas or anything related to it until after Thanksgiving. I would complain if I walked through a store that had a Christmas section up in November, or I would change the radio station if there was a carol playing. I was kind of a miser about it.

    But this year some of the ice has melted off my cold heart. We got a Christmas tree BEFORE Thanksgiving, and I’ve found myself humming some of the holiday jingles. I find myself really trying to connect with Christmas and the Christmas story in deeper ways than I have in the past. I don’t know if it’s because of COVID, and I am feeling sentimental and hoping Christmas will bring some semblance of normalcy, or if I am getting softer as I grow older. But as I have paid special attention to the Christmas story, I was reminded that one of the things that I have always admired about Jesus’ mother, Mary, was her ability to live in the wonder of the moment, treasuring and pondering what is happening.
    Let’s be clear, it would be natural to think that it was easy for her to do so.

    After all, she is the mother of Jesus. But these moments didn't always come in the simplest of circumstances. The first time this was mentioned about her was when the angel announced to her that she was chosen to give birth to the Messiah. Even for an adult, finding out that you are having a baby can be extremely stressful, and so for Mary, a young teenager, I imagine that she had to have worried about what Joseph was going to say, let alone her friends, family, and neighbors. Instead she chose to treasure the moment in her heart.

    This Christmas season let’s choose to follow Mary’s example, and treasure the positive things that God has blessed us with this year, despite COVID or even perhaps because of COVID. There are many things that we can be thankful for. I wouldn’t be surprised that as we grow older, we will look back on this season of our lives, this crazy year, with wonder.

    Prayer: Help me, Lord, to recognize the blessings and opportunities that may not be so obvious in difficult or confusing situations. Please open my eyes and my heart to how You are at work around me. Amen.

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  • #2
    I did think it's interesting that Mary did ponder this in her heart.
    I know quite a few people who caught the Covid, one passed away and it does make you reflect on life. I also had it, came out of it just fine.