How is it that amid all the bustle and keeping of commitments during this season, a mother can be deep in thought about the future and the present and the shape of her kids' spirits? It makes me smile to realize that the pondering I'm doing is not really so odd. There was another mother who pondered the child she held and the shape of his future and his spirit.
"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19
Mary pondered Jesus' life on the day of his birth, and all these years later as we look back on that humble yet glorious day, I feel in the best of company doing some pondering at Christmas over three boys and the way the Spirit of Christ is forming and shaping their futures.
Are they growing more and more in their sense that God is life and life is God? Do they get that what matters most is a life lived daily with God? Are they learning to be still inside and listen to the voice of the Spirit? Are they learning to live and grow in community with the people of God? Are they learning to choose the hard way sometimes rather than the easy way or the attractive way or the natural way because sometimes it's the road more difficult that brings life?
Mary pondered how the particulars would play out for this Savior babe. She considered how it would be that the Child born of her loins would mean eternity for every soul to ever live.
And I ponder how this Christ Child will day by day, year by year draw my children into an ever-deepening life with himself, Immanuel, God-with-us. As we focus with our boys on Jesus' birth, I think along with Mary about all Jesus means to me and to them. It's the story of Jesus that I ponder as I consider my kids' stories and how they will live into--and out of-- this story of Christ.
Christmas and pondering. The season of the Story gives us mothers and fathers a lot to think about.