All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:18–19.
The sight, sounds, and message of the angel chorus, and the culmination of seeing the newborn Messiah, so overwhelmed the shepherds they couldn’t keep it to themselves. They told the story to everyone they met, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. The shepherds, and the story they told, were the centre of the buzz about town.
The hype that first Christmas probably amounted to much the same flutter as today’s celebration. I envy the shepherds that experience: the story so new and fresh that all wanted to hear it. Now, the message is old and has lost its impact; it’s not the message, but the merchandise that draws attention.
Even for us, as Janet Sketchley noted a few days ago, “We’ve heard about the birth of Baby Jesus so many times that we can get kind of blasé about it.” In fact, if we are not passionate about Messiah’s birth, others will likely show little interest.
Perhaps we can learn from Mary. Also the centre of attention, she treasured these things in her heart, rather than show much outward emotion. Pondering, meditating on things seems a habit of hers, as recorded, not only in this text, but also finding her twelve-year-old son debating the temple teachers (verse 52).
Like Mary, we ponder the things we treasure. The rich man locks his money away, where he can run it thought his fingers. The house-proud woman spends hours buffing her place to showhome quality. Is the greatest story ever told the treasure of my heart?
Pondering this treasure might evoke more joy and a less jaded disposition. Then, just maybe, others will want to know the real story behind the story.