8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
This passage is part of the traditional Christmas nativity story however, it is v19 that caught my attention on this reading.
‘Mary kept all these things like secret treasure in her heart. She thought about them over and over’.
As Christians it’s important to ask the questions of ourselves ‘what do I value’ and ‘what are my priorities in life’. However, these questions are not easily answered, in fact it is often easier to answer these questions about others than ourselves.
Here is the beauty of v19, what we value either publicly or secretly and what we give priority to is revealed by what we think about most often.
All the best personal insights come from ‘thinking about what you are thinking about’. If you always think about eating cream buns, then you will eventual eat cream buns. In the same way if you regularly think about Christ as the saviour and risen king then your values and priorities will fall into line behind those thoughts.
So, take the opportunity today to consider how often you think about Christ each day, because that is what Mary did.
Lord, help us focus on You and give us the power to overcome any thoughts we shouldn’t be thinking.
Written by David Newton