Amy Bryant | December 23, 2018
Christmas Eve is almost here. It’s a time to be thankful for the most needed, most costly, most sought after (whether we realize it or not), and most precious gift…. His name is Jesus.
I’m sitting here by my lit tree gazing at my decorated mantle with a warm fire going. Cozy sounding isn’t it? From my chair, when I look to the right I’m eye level with one of my favorite ornaments. It’s a handmade one I’ve had for 18 years, but represents 23 years of friendship with one of my oldest and dearest friends Audrey. (Oh the stories she could tell!) Picture a round, shiny, red ball with sparkly beads clustered all around the top. On the side in silver paint pen she wrote Luke 2:19 (But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.) The gift tag is still on it with the message, “it is my greatest prayer that you ponder who Jesus is.” What a great prayer and challenge to me. Audrey is younger, but has encouraged, taught, and challenged me from day one. (You never know who God will use to mentor you in life!)
Sometimes the holidays can challenge even the strongest of hearts—awkward family situations, aching loneliness seems to intensify in a season like this, or the last month of the year is such a busy whirlwind we can’t remember what we did yesterday much less slow down to ponder Jesus. Why do you think that is? Why in a season where we should celebrate Him most, do we slow down to ponder and treasure Him the least? I think it’s because the enemy knows Jesus is the only answer to each one of our fears, longings, or heartaches—so of course, he strives to busy and distract us from the true Prince of Peace.
There have been times in my life that were so dark and my heart was so heavy, that honestly, I had no energy for bible study or a heart receptive to a sermon. In those seasons, I’ve found that the only thing I can do is ponder Jesus…His nature: the way He lived, the way He loved with action, the way He spoke truth in love, the way He comforted the hurting, the way He challenged the hard of heart, the way He forgave, the way He healed the sick, the way He treated the “least of these”, the way He trusted His Father and kept the covenant of God. It’s hard to ponder all that Jesus did and not taste a little hope. (Taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalms 34:8)
So today and this entire season my objective is simple…I’m going to ponder Jesus. What accounts from scripture about Him come to mind? What is one (or some) of my favorite things about Him? What would He say to me if we sat down for a cup of coffee and how would He say it? Whatever the answer to these questions are for you don’t keep them to yourself!
And just like every child around the world that can’t stop thinking about that one gift on their Christmas list with great anticipation…may we never stop pondering and treasuring our Gift. His name is Jesus.