“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 NIV
Can you imagine what treasured memories Mary must have had? A baby in hay. Shepherds telling of angels. Simeon and Anna in the temple prophesying over Jesus. Mary held baby Immanuel, God With Us, in the midst of her reflections.
Our reflections are not as dramatic. Gifts unwrapped. Empty stockings. Scraps of shiny paper and tinsel lay on the floor. The twinkling tree remains, full of memories from Christmases now past.
Reflections on Christmas memories become new gifts under the tree.
Sitting by the tree with a cup of mocha mint coffee, I see reflections of laughter in the sparkling lights. Warm memories. Laughter of a grandchild discovering the special ornaments. Cuddles with the newest family member, too little to care about the excitement.
Unfortunately, not all Christmas reflections bring happiness. Some carry pain. Sorrow from remembering our parents who have passed on and will not know their great grandchildren. Many folks have heartache from loneliness or a recent loss. Some can’t wait to pack Christmas away because of the pain. They hope for a better year. I’ve had Christmases like that.
With the inconsistencies of life, what a blessing to know that we are not abandoned, though sometimes we may feel that way. At those times, remember the gift in the manger. Immanuel has come. God is with us in the highs and lows of life.
Through Jesus’ birth, God gave us hope to endure any darkness, peace that does not depend on circumstances, unconditional love that covers any unworthiness, and joy that gives us another chance.
These are the Christmas reflections that we can carry in our hearts all year.
What are your reflections by the tree? If they are painful, may the peace and hope of the Lord redeem your memories. If they are cheerful, may the embers of love and joy remain in your heart.
Either way, look to Immanuel, who is always with us.