Luke 2:17-20 –
“And when they had seen it,
they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things
which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen,
as it was told unto them.”
The Darkness of Uncertainty – All of us live in an uncertain world. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Some of us have friends who are uncertain whether they will live to see another Christmas. All of us live in times of economic and political uncertainty.
Imagine all the uncertainties for Mary and Joseph. Imagine the political uncertainty they endured while living under real oppression. They lived through relational uncertainty. It appeared that Mary whom Joseph loved and trusted had betrayed him. How about the uncertainties of their future?
Hear a few of their possible questions/concerns:
- Are we really equipped to raise the long-awaited Messiah?
- How will we secure the needed finances to raise our son since this pregnancy was unplanned and unexpected?
- Will the people back home welcome us home in light of the rumor mill concerning my getting pregnant before being married?
- How long will we have to live as fugitives and be uprooted from our families?
- I am not sure that I want to raise our family in the obscure, out of the way little town called Nazareth.
The Cure – Light of Wonder –All who heard the shepherds “wondered” at their message about who this child was (2:18). Joseph and Mary wondered and marveled at all the things spoken of their son (Luke 2:33) by Simeon and Anna.
- What is wonder? To marvel, to admire, to be amazed beyond measure. A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
- What about the Christmas story should cause us to marvel and wonder? Here’s a short list of my own reflections on Luke 2:
I marvel that the Lord sovereignly moves the greedy, godless rulers of the Roman empire to conduct a census for the purposes of taxation in order to fulfill the prophecy of the Messiah’s birthplace in Bethlehem.
I marvel at the humiliating and humble beginnings of the earthly life of our Lord… born in a cattle stall… laid in a feeding trough.
I marvel at God’s willingness to humble His Son in order to save proud people like me.
I marvel that the God of all there is; the God who is ringed about with angels who declare His glory and move with strength and speed to do His will…this God comes to the nobodies of this world to lead them to their Savior.
I marvel that the Lord receives worship and praise from those who were considered despised and ceremonially unclean – the shepherds.
I marvel that God’s favor would rest upon completely undeserving sinners like me.
I marvel that I have a Savior to deliver me from my greatest enemies: the futility of life, the fatality of sin, and the finality of death.
I marvel that the Lord loved me enough to awaken me to the irresistible music of the Good News of great joy that I have a Savior who is God incarnate.
Hearing that song will cause our hearts to swell with wonder and we will worship Him. For wonder always leads to worship. Why don’t you pray for God to use the Christmas story to reawaken in you the capacity to wonder so that you will truly marvel at all the great things that God has done to save you.