This time of year I love to read Jesus’ birth story, for obvious reasons. It’s not a long story. In fact I struggled trying to find it this year. I like to read out of Luke chapter 2.
Unlike most of our children’s birth stories, this story does not include a gender reveal party or multiple baby showers. There wasn’t even a proper place for him to be born. Mary didn’t get the option of having a C-section or epidural or even a homebirth. She took what she could get and that was a stinky stable. Jesus did receive a few gifts but nothing like our children receive. Mary wasn’t stocked up on all the essentials. Yet she was carrying our Savior.Something that jumped out at me this year, as I read through Jesus’s birth story, was the mention two times in Luke about how Mary treasured up things in her heart.In Luke 2:18 it says “all who heard the shepherd’s story were astonished but Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart”. Mary took all that the Shepherd’s said, about the angels coming to visit them, in. She didn’t start calling all her friends and didn’t boast about carrying and giving birth to the Messiah. She instead held it all in her heart and treasured it.
We also read about Mary treasuring the words Jesus spoke in Luke 2:51. These words were written about the time where Jesus goes and speaks to the teachers in Jerusalem at the Passover festival. It’s actually a time where Mary and Joseph lost Jesus which gives me a little comfort that even the parents of Jesus lost their child! But Jesus wanted to stay behind and speak with the teachers and listen to what they had to say. Jesus responds when they ask why didn’t he follow them with….”didn’t you know that I must be in my fathers house but they didn’t understand what he meant then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them and his mother treasured up all these things in her heart”.
Mary knew that she gave birth to the Son of the Most High. And anything that anyone said about her son she treasured. She also treasured the words of Jesus that he spoke to her. Now my son is definitely not Jesus. He’s very sweet and a good boy, but I think we all as parents, do something similar to what Mary does when we treasure those moments and the words that our kids speak to us. We know they won’t be little forever and even when they get older we still love the words that they speak to us, (expect the Junior High years)! But we also treasure those words that others speak about our children. Because when we are not around our children, we hope they are still kind and loving little human beings. It’s not always the case, but I love to hear from my son’s teacher each year. I love to hear from his friends and other parents who say sweet things about my son. Imagine all the good reports Mary would receive about Jesus. And also all the bad reports from those who did not believe or who even wanted him dead.
Luke 2:33 “Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
Mary knew Jesus would be rejected and come upon great opposition, so she treasured all the truths and good words others spoke to her and those of Jesus.
I encourage you all to re-read Jesus’ birth story. Again, it’s not anything super long or complicated, it’s actually pretty simple, but also the most glorious birth story you’ll ever read about. I pray this Christmas season that you would treasure up all those words and moments that God has spoke to your heart. That you would tell others of the treasure that you have found. And if you have not found that treasure, I pray that you can find that gift of peace. Know that little baby grew up to be your Saviour. So if you need saving…if you’re tired of running from your mistakes…if you’re overwhelmed…if you just can’t do it anymore… know that that simple birth story turned into a great story of God’s redeeming love. He sent his son to be born to a virgin and to live a life, to then in the end, die for all of our sins. All because he loves us and we are his treasures. It may all seem like a funny story or maybe it’s really weird to you, but again I encourage you to read Jesus’ birth story and the wondrous gift that we were given that night.