But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19
Merry CHRISTmas, PCC!
I will never exhaust my profound respect for and admiration of the courage of Mary!
God’s “Holy Disruption” in her life was huge, and Mary’s response was a complete yielding to God’s plans. Like every act of obedience, this yielding would require more than she ever imagined and bring a blessing beyond her wildest dreams. Do you have 5 minutes? Click here and experience a beautiful artistic expression of Mary through a song called Mary Did You Know?
Ponder with me her “yes” to God, to carry the Messiah as an unwed mother. Mary must have faced harsh judgment. She faced her first childbirth alone, without a midwife or her mother or sisters or friends. We know a few details about Mary’s response: When the angel announced God’s favor to Mary, he told her not to be afraid (Luke 1:30), and as the story unfolded, “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). What a godly woman! The Gospels don’t record her reacting, overreacting, panicking, or complaining. She quietly pondered.
Like Mary, do you wonder what’s ahead in your life? Do you feel fear and uncertainty about the future? Are you dreading a test result, a financial uncertainty, a strained relationship? If you feel afraid: like Mary, be still and treasure God and His character. Remember Isaiah 9:6 from last Sunday? He’s a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. God will calm your heart.
I’m praying for us as a community to treasure and ponder this season.To aid us in that, we have resources available for each of us:
- Come, Let Us Adore Him, an Advent devotional by Paul Tripp. This collection of 31 daily devotional readings takes readers through every day of December, seeking to “reactivate” our awe and wonder at the Christmas story. I love how Tripp describes this devotional in the promotion video for the book: “There are layers and layers of life-altering, heart-rescuing, agenda-setting truths that are embedded in every piece” of the Christmas story. Each devotion ends with Tripp identifying one central theme and suggesting questions for parents and children to discuss together. You can purchase one in the gatherings this Sunday or on Amazon.
- Lessons and Carols: This Saturday, December 2 at 7pm in the Worship Center, we will engage in a centuries old tradition, walking through the story arc of Redemption with hymns and Scriptures. This service was introduced in 1918 at King’s College in Cambridge to bring a more imaginative approach to worship. It was first aired on BBC radio in 1928 and is now broadcasted to millions of people around the world. Joining in this service will be alumni members of the Ragazzi Boys Choir, called Continuo. PCC’s own John Martin is part of this group!
- A Service of Remembrance: If you are grieving a loss this holiday season, join us for this intimate, brief service to light a candle for your loved one and reflect on the love of Jesus for you as you grieve. The service will be an acoustic gathering with music, reflection, a devotional and candles to light and remember loved ones. This happens Sunday evening, December 17 at 5pm in the Worship Center.
I love Christmas, and to be honest, I feel like we need Chistmas more than ever this year. We need to focus on Immanuel, God coming to the rescue, and the new life we can have through him. Ponder Him, PCC! Treasure Him! God forbid that the cultural expression and stress of Christmas rob us of the opportunity to worship Jesus this season.
This Sunday, we will dive deeper into Mary and her holy disruption. We will worship the God who loves us enough to disrupt our plans so we can live into His grand eternal plan! Don’t miss gathering in one of our four gatherings, and don’t come alone! Why not invite someone to join you this Sunday?
I love being your pastor!