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     So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and 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 2:16-19

Dear Lord Jesus, Mary’s response, early in her journey of holding and nursing you, is both convicting and inviting. Even as I look “away in the manger”, I realize what a holy mystery and glorious paradox, the incarnation was. You—the very God who created and sustains all things—you drew nourishment from a young maiden’s breast. What great humility you showed; what great love with which you love us.

And Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” “Hurrying off like a shepherd,” to talk about you to others, has always been easier for me than sitting still and letting you tell me about yourself.

It’s always been easier for me to talk than to listen—to stay busy rather than to relax, to be “productive” than to be meditative. I’m not proud of that. I’ve been a runner, too much of my life—fearing what I might hear in the quiet; wondering what might catch up with me if I slowed down.

But to know you (not just about you) is eternal life, Jesus; and I do want to know you, more and more intimately. I want to treasure you, more than ever, and ponder your beauty and the bounty I have in you.

I want to contemplate everything you’ve already accomplished through your life, death, and resurrection; everything you’re presently doing as the King of kings and Lord of lords; everything you will be to us, in the new heaven and new earth—loving Bridegroom to your beloved bride.

It’s not as though I’m a stranger to treasuring and pondering, for I treasure and ponder a lotof things (unfortunately)—but nothing or no one is as worthy of my affection and adoration as you.

In this particular Advent season, slow me down Lord; may I increasingly be able to say with the psalmist, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:25-26). So very Amen I pray, in your holy and loving name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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