And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. And when they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
– Luke 2:16-20 NAS
Truly one of the most incredible realities of the Christian faith is the incarnation of the Son of God. How staggering that the creator of the Universe would become like those He created. How unimaginable that He who is completely separate and distinct from everything would clothe Himself with flesh and blood. There is nothing in any other philosophical group or religion as strategically significant as God becoming flesh. Christ humbles Himself to become fully human and dwells among us.
But the other amazing reality is the circumstances of His entry. We would assume the description of Christ’s return would mirror Revelation 19:11-16:
And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
That would be natural assumption of Christ coming in glory and power to take His rightful place ruling over His creation. But that is not the picture of His grand entrance. It is profoundly unassuming and humble:
But when he (Joseph) had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins. Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Matt. 1:20-23 NAS)
This does not mean that there wasn’t any fan fair. The angels appeared to shepherds and brought a huge choir to proclaim the entrance of the Son of God. All of this is a spectacular event. While most people missed the exciting moments they still heard about it. Look at the encounter of Mary and the Shepherds:
When we step back into Luke 2:16-20 we will notice a collection of terms describing the response to the entrance of the Son of God. People wondered, they were amazed and captivated by the news. Mary treasuredall these things in her heart; literally she stored them up, kept them close and preserved them in her thoughts; she did not forget them. She ponderedthem – in other words she pulled them together; she discussed these things in her own heart, she took these events and the message and interacted with the implications of these events in her own mind.
The idea of being captivatedby the coming of Christ ought to cause us to treasurethese things in our heart. They are inherently so significant and meaningful that they ought to automatically imprint on our heart and mind and never take second place to any other experience. We should museover these things constantly and at various times and moments because we realize the surpassing value of this infant; we ought to understand the profound, eternal ramifications for our own life.
This is the nature of wonder. This is what it means to ponderthose things and treasure them in our heart. If we truly ponder them we will continually discuss and explore the implications of how they must impact our life.
Our prayer for you is that this Christmas you will ponder the amazing reality of the incarnation of Christ in a fresh new dialogue in your own heart and mind so that you will worship and praise Him with new energy and vibrancy. May His richest blessing enrich your heart and soul and elevate you to a new faith walk with Him.