This devotional is Day 12 of the 25-Day Advent Series “The Wonders of His Love.” Follow along with us as we grow in grace through the Christmas story by subscribing or bookmarking the home page above!
Scripture: Luke 2:13-20
“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” Luke 2:19-20
Twelve months. According to my doctor, after trying for a baby for over twelve months, you’re technically infertile. I looked at him with surprise and hurt, and wondered if I would ever hold a baby in my arms.
I vowed that if I would ever be so blessed, that I would enjoy every moment, take in every little squeal with delight, and faithfully and creatively take photos for every milestone and month to pass.
I remember the exact moment when the doctor told me that there was a tiny unborn baby in my womb. And I remember the bleed that drove me to rush to the ER.
The nurse put that jelly on my stomach and told me at 7 weeks gestation, that almost all babies had a heartbeat strong enough to hear through an external wand. No heartbeat.
The nurse left, and my husband and I talked and cried. She came back with a raised eyebrow, and said that she’d like to check with the internal wand, if I would let her. On that day, I heard my son’s heartbeat for the first time. I will never forget that sound, and the nurse who had the faith that I didn’t.
My son is now three years old, and he has a baby sister. Together they play on the living room floor, him with fire trucks, and her with rattles. My daughter is too young to speak, but my son loves imagining that she’s speaking to him. I sit on the couch and fold laundry and watch them.
These memories are all the more precious to me after each of my fertility and pregnancy scares. These prompt me to give thanks to God for His grace in letting me shepherd these precious babies.
While I can’t say that I enjoy every moment (and don’t think that’s a healthy perspective), I thoroughly enjoy and cherish my children. I look to their futures with hope and joy, and praise God for entrusting me with shepherding their souls.
While I heard that I was pregnant from a doctor, Mary heard from an angel of the Lord. While I was attempting a pregnancy, Mary wasn’t, and had no relations with any man. Yet I find that we have something in common: our response.
In Luke 2:18-30, we are told the story of Jesus’s birth announcement.
At first one angel, and then several, appeared to a bunch of sleepy shepherds on one appointed night.
Can you imagine this from the perspective of the shepherds? An angel of the Lord appeared to them. It was terrifying, yet they were told not to fear, but rather to go seek a newborn baby…oh, by the way, this baby is Christ the Lord.
Where is he? Certainly not an exciting location for the King of the World; wrapped in strips of what was probably Mary’s dress, lying in an animal feeding bin. It would be easy to be incredulous about this request, even coming from a host of angels. But they did.
They were faithful and fulfilled the angel’s request, and after meeting the newborn King and Savior, I’m sure either Mary or Joseph asked, “How did you know we were here?” What a joy it must have been for Mary to hear about the infant Jesus’ angelic birth announcement.
Mary now knew that not only one angel had been delivering messages to her and Joseph, but now it was happening in bulk: several angels appeared to several shepherds.
When we look at this passage, we can see how to respond to the birth of Christ:
Like Mary, this Christmas we need to treasure Christ in our hearts.
Mothers cannot help but treasure their children. Even in the hard times, they seem to look at their children with the awe that only a mom can. The time we spend with our children makes our hearts warm and soft towards them.
It’s easy to treasure children, but treasuring Christ might not come as easy. If you’re looking to treasure Christ this Christmas, you need to spend more time with Him. As you are right now, use the advent season to prepare your heart as a Throne for the Holy King of Heaven. Seek the prophecies of His birth in the Old Testament books.
The fondness and sweet memories we have with our children also can be a reminder for us to pray for them and draw close to Christ.
Like the Shepherds, this Christmas we need to believe God’s promises and tell others the Good News.
As Christians, we need to believe God’s Word. God had been sending prophecies about the coming Savior for hundreds of years. Then, after the last prophet, there were 400 years of silence. Many Jewish men and women started to doubt. They wondered if maybe they misunderstood.
Or maybe they started caring about other things more. On a night that didn’t seem particularly special, a night sky full of angels spoke to a rag-tag group of shepherds and they responded with faith.
Can we also believe God? Even when He seems silent? Christ’s first coming was long-anticipated, and His second is the same. No human knows when Christ will return, and many people now doubt.
We need to do all we can to share the joy and wonder we have about Christ’s first arrival and our expectation of His second, because on a night that won’t seem particularly special, Christ will come with a night sky full of angels.
According to Christ Himself, this time the angels will not be announcing a birth, but calling with a loud trumpet, gathering His followers from all the earth, and all of the nations will mourn. (Matthew 24:30-31)
The first coming of Christ led to adoration and doubt. There will be no doubt with His second coming, but rather regret and mourning.
Now is the time to cherish Christ. Now is the time to grow closer to Him so that our souls are ready for Him. We need to share the good news with urgency, just as the shepherds did.
We can’t help but cherish our children, because those memories are built on caring for them, conversing with them, and spending time with them. It’s hard not to share stories about our children, even to strangers.
This Christmas, cherish Christ. When you built memories with Him, you’ll respond just as Mary and the shepherds did, treasuring Him in your heart, and sharing the news with others.
About the Author
Sarah Hardee is a Pastor’s wife, mom of two, and writer/blogger for Christian moms at ChristCenteredMama.com.
She designs t-shirts and also has two resources on how to start a Christian blog, which are available here.