Treasuring The Moment
I have not been married, but I have watched the hit NBC TV show The Office, so I know the wedding day goes by fast. On the episode where at long last Pam and Jim get married they agree to take mental pictures throughout the day so they can cherish it all later. Having officiated my share of weddings I do know the ceremony and reception y by. I’ll confess early on my ego was a little bruised when a bride acknowledged she could not remember a single word I had said in the ceremony. e beauty of the day is seen in the sacredness of God joining two lives together, blossoming emotions of a lifelong love, gathering of dear family and friends, and the joyous celebration. It all goes by so fast. There’s so much to take in over such a short period of time. I believe Pam and Jim from The Office had the right idea.
In the Gospel of Luke, Mary, the mother of Jesus, is similarly trying to take in all of the events of her life… the angel foretelling Jesus’ birth, her cousin Elizabeth’s child leaping in the womb, the journey to Bethlehem, the birth of her son in a stable, the awed shepherds who visited stammering about angels. How could Mary respond to a string of peculiar, astounding, faith-stretching events? “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Lk. 2.19). ere was so much to take in, process, and make sense of over this last season of her life. So Mary held her life, its unpredictable twists and turns, and all God was doing in her family, and in her world in her heart.
She opened herself up to the experience. She contemplated the moment. She didn’t try to control it or fix it or plan it. Since when have unmarried virgins planned on carrying the son of God to full term anyway? God was shaping Mary to treasure the moment. Mary was learning to be present to all God was doing. Even if she didn’t understand it. Even when it was overwhelming. Even when things seemed impossible. is Christmas season we are invited to journey with God down a similar path. Like a wedding day, there may be much to celebrate and too much to take in all at once about this holiday season. We may need to ask the Holy Spirit to take pictures of moments so profound, whimsical, nonsensical, heart warming, and tear inducing for us to fully “get” in the moment. We will open our lives to who God is in this moment and open ourselves up for what God is doing in our families, our church, and our world.