MARY PONDERS, DO WE?

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1 MARY PONDERS, DO WE? The Word of God on this Christmas Day is Luke 2:19 which reads: And Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. So far the text. The glory of God has been revealed, and we have seen it, thanks be to God. Amen. The text says Mary treasured up these things and pondered them in her heart. That pondering means to have a photogenic memory of all that happened. It s like taking a picture of all the events and putting them in a picture book to look over again and again and remember. All you women in the congregation: Imagine that you are Mary. Nine months ago an angel came to you and said, You are going to have a baby the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the child in you will be the Son of God and you are to give Him the name, Jesus. It was a long nine months, trying to explain your pregnancy, but you keep remembering what the angel said to you. The baby kicks in your womb, he s laying on your bladder, but you remember, the angels said, And the Holy One born of you, and you are thinking that your pregnancy feels and sounds the same as you have heard from other women who have had children. Maybe you are thinking, Am I eating the right things, I hope I don t do anything to harm my baby that the angel said is from God. Then that day comes the labor pains, maybe there is a mid-wife who helps in the delivery, maybe Joseph helps, maybe you deliver the baby all by yourself, all alone, and then..here he is! And you are thinking, This is God s Son! You wrap Him in swaddling clothes.i got to keep God s Son warm He s crying Maybe the Child will nurse.i never done this before Maybe You think, This Child nursing, could this really be as the angels did say? He s just like any normal baby that I have seen other mother s nurse, but Joseph said the angels told him that the Child conceived in me is by

2 the Holy Spirit and that must be true because I don t know any other way I could have conceived. Joseph also said He will save His people from their sins. Wow! How will this happen? I am holding an infant that is God and yet very human I am nursing God! Every sound the baby makes, You stir to tend to His care, constantly checking his swaddling clothes for soiled cloths, changing the wrapping as needed, for this is the Son of the Most High God! You gaze upon Him, taking in a little nap in between the baby s stirring, wondering and pondering and treasuring all this in your heart, flashing across your mind a picture of all the events that had happened over the last nine months. Then shepherds come bursting into the stable saying, You won t believe what we saw? We saw an army of a heavenly host of angels and they told us to come here and we would find you, Mary, and Joseph and this baby lying in a manger. The angels said that your baby is the Savior, Christ the Lord. The shepherds huddled around the manger, maybe reaching out and touching is little hand, brushing their hand across the top of his head, and saying this is our Savior, the Christ, the Lord. Mary ponders what the shepherds said. The puzzle in her mind is coming together from her experience with the angels and now with the news of what these shepherds had said about the angels. You know the Scriptures, all you Maries, and you know the name Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messiah, the anointed. You turn over again and again in your mind all that has happened amazed at what great things God has done here in this very moment. Pondering, wondering, treasuring in your mind.what am I holding in my arms? It is the very promised Messiah, the Christ, whose name is Jesus, the Savior, our Lord!

3 All you men in the congregation: Imagine you are Joseph. Maybe after the travel to Bethlehem, after the bedding down in the hay, after Mary s labor screams and finally tears of joy of a baby.do you think you asked, Do you have anything to eat, I m hungry. I think not! You are a righteous man and you too had to be wondering and pondering this holy birth. Protecting Mary and this Child whom the angels told you is God born in human flesh is your concern. You go out and try and acquire some food. You tend to your donkey and other animals in the stable, maybe shooing away a few mice hiding under the hay. Maybe some strangers pass by the stable and look in and you usher them on along their way and then these shepherds come bursting in and asking, Are you Joseph, are you Mary? Look there is the baby lying in a manger in swaddling clothes just as the angels said! How did they know, You think to yourself, until you hear them say, the angels said. By now, the responsibility of who your promised wife is and who this baby is. It is more than you can take in. My promised wife is the mother of Jehovah who is called Jesus, the promised Savior spoken of by the prophets of old! Mary ponders, do we? Sure we do, how can we not as Christians? Yet we must admit that in our Lutheran circles we often do what many people in the world do, and that is, we minimize our sin. We have heard so much how Jesus is our Savior because He died on the cross to take away our sins, all so very true, but that redeeming work is trivialized. The concept of Savior doesn t always hold weight in our minds because sometimes we feel our sins are not that grave. Christmas for many Christians is said to be Jesus birthday, and we all have birthdays, so Jesus birth is just a time to have another big party, and the Savior concept is rarely pondered. It is easy to fall into the

4 habit of not being in worship and sometimes we think, I know I should go and God is probably angry with me, but I am just beat from all my work that I just can t get going on Sunday morning to come. It s not that by such thoughts that we don t believe, it s just that we have been conditioned to not confront our sins because we don t want others including ourselves to feel bad and so pondering the angelic words a Savior has been born for you, He s Christ the Lord, may not even be our thoughts. What about you who are in worship regularly, maybe you have complained, Why do we have to have Christmas Day worship at 10:30 a.m. and then have communion. It makes church last that much longer and I have company coming and food to finish preparing, couldn t we have had worship at 9:00 without communion? It s not that we don t believe, and not appreciative of Jesus birth, we just don t always seriously ponder the weight that was laid upon that Baby who is our Savior! Yet there are even more Christians who don t even bother with coming to Christmas Eve or Day worship, why? Our sins don t really bother us. Oh, maybe a little, but life goes on, both good and bad. Pondering about Jesus, why ponder? It doesn t get me anywhere in this world. I m sure, I, as a little child after going to all the mid-week Advent services, the Sunday morning services, the Christmas Eve program, that on Christmas Day when I was awakened to get ready for the Christmas Day Church service, I thought, Oh man, do we have to go to church again? Our fallen nature along with the devil doesn t want us the count the wages of our sin and we have become immune to the damning nature of our sin and have trivialized Jesus-Savior! There is no need to point fingers, we all do it. God reminds us this day to ponder and treasure in our heart what we have, a Savior born for you, He is Christ the Lord. Pondering the reason why a Savior for us makes

5 us even more sure how Jesus is our treasure. His incarnation subjected Jesus to death so that through Him who is eternal life He would swallow down death for us and lift us up in life through His victory over death. Jesus was driven by the freedom of His love to take our place under the Law and fulfill it for us substituting His righteous life for ours so that under the Law we would be righteous to share in His glory. Ponder what you have: Our sinful birth only brings death but Jesus holy birth brought life for us. He swaps our wounds of what sin has done to our body and soul by His healing, cleansing blood so that one day with Jesus in heaven everlasting joy with recreated bodies will be our life always manifesting His glory. And the Holy Spirit has come to us to guide us in our pondering so that we see God in the face of Christ who is our only Savior! By God s grace you see it! Night and day, ponder what God has given you, a Savior to rescue you! If only all people would see this great wonder. Then all could share in His glory and peace with God in the highest heavens. Imagine you are Joseph and Mary, in essence you are them this morning as you come to the Lord s Table and cradle in your hands the very body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just ponder that truth! This infant Priest is Christ the Lord for you! Oh, thanks be to God. Amen. The peace of God which transcends all human understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus to life everlasting. Amen.

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