As I've been meditating on and applying the word to my own life in the gospel accounts and desiring to walk in the path God leads me in teaching my sons His word I've been really focusing in on the verse in Luke 2:19 that says, "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart."
As I've shared on Wife of Valor, God really got a hold of me this Christmas as I experienced the convicting and refreshing work of His Spirit through the Christmas story in the Word.
Each day during the month, the boys and I have pulled out either a Proclamation ornament, or a Jesse tree ornament they made and read the scripture which goes with it and talked about it, then put it on the tree. But then the big day came. Christmas is over, right?
Well, what God's doing in my heart to keep the truth of Christmas growing up in me, not remaining just a day, is to meditate on the gifts which the wise men brought and the actions the shepherds took when they responded to the vision of the Savior of the world's birth- some of the "things" Mary pondered and kept in her heart. To help pass this on to my boys, I made some clay ornaments, using some bakeable clay I picked up at Walmart.
I'm not crafty, that's for sure. These ornaments are perfect for my kids, cause they look like they were made by kids :-), but they've really helped me and my kids to not let Christmas get packed away, but to let it linger and grow and be a point of reference from which we start the new year with. We keep our tree out till Jan.1, but even if you're one of those who pack Christmas up December 26th, maybe you could do something like this to continue that worshipful, meditative mode of thinking on what God's word proclaims not just on Christmas day: that the Savior of the world is born.
I think, at least for me, doing as Mary did and pondering these gifts that were brought after Christ's birth and the actions that were taken by the shepherds after the angels announced the good news to them, is helping my boys and I maintain that worshipful spirit that, thank God, I was revived in this year.
- Matthew 2:11, "Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh." (NLT)
- The treasure of gold: Rulership and wealth. Jesus is King of kings and all wealth is His.
- Deuteronomy 8:18, "Always remember that it is the LORD your God who gives you power to become rich, and he does it to fulfill the covenant he made with your ancestors." (NLT)
- Revelation 1916, "On his robe and thigh was written this title: King of kings and Lord of lords." (NLT)
- The treasure of Frankincense: Fragrant prayers of our High Priest. Intercession.
- Exodus 30:34-36, "These were the LORD's instructions to Moses concerning the incense: "Gather sweet spices – resin droplets, mollusk scent, galbanum, and pure frankincense – weighing out the same amounts of each. Using the usual techniques of the incense maker, refine it to produce a pure and holy incense.Beat some of it very fine and put some of it in front of the Ark of the Covenant, where I will meet with you in the Tabernacle. This incense is most holy." (NLT)
- Hebrews 7:25, "Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." (NKJV)
- The treasure of Myrrh: The Lamb of God's sweet smelling sacrifice.
- Isaiah 53:5-7, "But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the guilt and sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. " (NLT)
- Ephesians 5:2, "Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him." (NLT)
- Hebrews 9:26b-28, "He came once for all time, at the end of the age, to remove the power of sin forever by his sacrificial death for us. And just as it is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again but not to deal with our sins again. This time he will bring salvation to all those who are eagerly waiting for him." (NLT)
- The shepherd's go
- Luke 2:17-18, "Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds' story were astonished..." (NLT)
- Matthew 28:19-20, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (NLT)
- Keep God's promises in your heart, remember them, and live believing till the end:
- Luke 2:19, "but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often." (NLT)
- 2 Peter 1:2-4,"May God bless you with his special favor and wonderful peace as you come to know Jesus, our God and Lord, better and better. As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature." (NLT)
What about you? What are your plans, or is there something you do to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in your heart after December 25th?