And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this Child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. (Luke 2:17-19)
A couple of weeks ago, I was cleaning out the top drawer of my dresser, looking for my son's Social Security card. It was amazing what we found: report cards from first grade; baby teeth, carefully kept; a birthday candle (age 3); a silver teething ring. And of course, there were any number of "Do you remember?" conversations that night.
Parents treasure things related to their children, and Mary was no exception. In her case, she treasured less tangible things—what Gabriel said when he told her she would bear a Son; the shepherds' story and the angels' song; the sights and sounds of Jesus' birthplace. Many years later, she would share these stories with other Christian believers, and they found their way into the Gospels.
Why do we treasure these things—these objects, these stories? Probably because they are the only way we can hold on to the people we love. Children grow up and go out into the world; friends and relatives grow old and die. We suffer loss. And so we treasure the links we still have to those we love. It is the best we can do.
But God can do better than that—and He does. There was a time when God faced losing us, the people He created and loved. And it wasn't just to the ordinary process of growing up, but to something worse, to death and hell. Faced with that, God took action. He came into the world as our Savior Jesus. He fought the powers of death and the devil for our sake. And He rose victorious from death three days later, with the prize He wanted firmly grasped in His hands. We are that treasure.
Because of Jesus, God doesn't have to treasure objects or stories related to us. He treasures us directly and forever, as His own children.
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for treasuring us and making us Your own forever. Amen.
* What is one object or story you treasure about someone you love?
* Why is it so valuable to you?
* What does it mean to you, that God treasures you?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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