December 14, 2014


Luke 2:19-21

Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
—Luke 2:19


Think of all the stories Mary could tell about the birth of her son. Before Jesus was born, Mary was visited by an angel, almost abandoned by her fiancé, praised by her cousin Elizabeth, forced to travel to Bethlehem, and denied a decent place to stay while she gave birth.

We could look at these situations and think, “What a mess!” Mary could have complained about the inconveniences and the unsanitary conditions. She could have launched into a tirade about all the things she had dealt with in the past months. Instead, she quietly treasured these things and pondered them in her heart.

We often need a double blessing to treasure the way God is working in our lives. The first blessing comes when God entrusts us with the task to carry out his plans. It is a privilege to serve him by showing kindness, offering assistance, or speaking an encouraging word.

The second blessing comes in the ability to appreciate what God is doing. If we let ourselves be consumed by the inconvenience of showing mercy to others, we can easily miss the joy of what God is doing.

Mary was twice-blessed to be called to serve God as the mother of Christ, and to be given a heart that could recognize the value of her experience.

Holy Spirit, help us to recognize the good things you do in our lives, and transform our hearts so that we treasure the work you are doing in and through us. Amen.

About the author — Bill Sytsma

Bill Sytsma is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min). He is the author of the book Follow the Leader and is serving as the pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in Highland, Indiana. He and his wife, Staci, have hosted support groups for families built through adoption. He and Staci are the proud parents of three active boys: Luke, Isaac, and Nico.

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