Thursday, December 9, 2021

         Christmas is a time for making memories.  Christmas is also a time for remembering special moments and occasions.  Traditions are often made when someone decides that something was so joyful or memorable that it deserves to be done again and again.  Memory plays a role in the Christmas story too.  John the Baptist always remembered his role and the reason for which he was born.  Joseph remembered what he had been told about the circumstances of Mary’s pregnancy.  I doubt the shepherds ever forgot that first Christmas night when their field was invaded by an angel of the Lord and a bright heavenly host.  And Mary’s memory is singled out too.  Mary, maybe more than anyone else, is noted to have cherished and treasured all that happened in Bethlehem.  I suspect no mom ever forgets that special moment when her child is born and taken into her arms.  Luke 2:19 says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
            Our lesson today is the power of memory.  Make new ones.  Cherish the old ones.  Memories are collections of the many experiences, people and things that have made us what we are.  Some memories are stirring while others may be regrettable.  But memories cast long shadows.  Think of the time you came to faith in Christ.  Recall a meaningful prayer someone offered for you.  Give thanks for that special teacher or elder Christian who made a particular investment in your life.  Reminisce about that special Christmas worship service you enjoyed that blessed you for days. 
            God tells us to remember His Word.  We are directed to make His Word an unmistakable part of our lives.  Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  Knowing the Lord’s Word is a good way to navigate through the challenges of daily life.  A bit later in the New Testament, Paul wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”  “Dwell richly in you” is a call to memory.  Let God’s Word be as much a part of your life as your arms, legs, eyes and ears.  Let the memories of the Lord and His ways be an inseparable part of your life.
            Christmas is primarily a time to remember the coming of the Lord so that He could dwell in us and with us forever.  Do all that you can to hasten that recognition and reality.  Familiar Christmas carols call to mind the truth of the incarnation.  The familiar story in Luke 2 is to be poured over again and again as we look on in wonder and amazement over what God has done.  The miracle of Christmas should never become ordinary and commonplace to us.  God has done for us what we could never do for ourselves.  Now is as good of a time as any to make some memories.  Put some actions in place that can become traditions.  Take time to recall some memorable moments from the past that still bless you today.  Engage with the Christmas story and season rather than just passively moving through it.  Mary treasured everything and so can you. Have a great Thursday!  Join us on Sunday for Bible study, worship and our Christmas musical at 7:00pm.

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