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A Heart's Treasure

the_thing_we_treasure_the_most_by_deakablackdragon-d1umvyd.jpg                I’m pretty excited for our Catechism class tomorrow, not only because I love teaching and have a ton of fun with the kids, but because I really like the lesson we have for it. We’re doing Jesus’ life this year, going through the most important stories, and who’s more interesting to study than Jesus himself? The lesson we have is one that gets told every year, though not usually in September. The story we’re starting out with is usually a story that really descends on us in December. Of course, if you’re going to teach about the life of Jesus, you gotta start at the beginning. His birth.


                There is one part in the story about Jesus’ birth that really connects with me. I can’t believe it took me years and years of hearing the birth story to… well, hear this part. In my blog last week I spoke about how it’s amazing that something you’ve loved for years, and heard or read over and over again can suddenly have new meaning. Something new can suddenly jump out at you. Not too long ago that happened to me with this story.

                Jesus is born! Our savior is here! Who couldn’t love this story? But you know what? My favorite part of the birth story, the part that gets me, isn’t about Jesus at all. It’s about Mary. Here you have this young girl, probably scared out of her mind, taking a huge leap and trusting God. Having this child could ruin her entire life. She wasn’t even married yet, and the kid wasn’t her fiancée’s! But an angel appears to her and says, “It’ll be ok. Trust God. This is the savior. Everything will be alright.” So she takes a huge leap of faith. She becomes pregnant.

                Stay with me, that’s not my favorite part. So she became pregnant with God’s son and nine months later in Bethlehem she has a baby, and all these miraculous things happen. It is very evident that this is the Son of God. So Jesus is born and it’s made clear that He’s the savior. In the Bible, right after the heavenly host appears and sings praises, after the shepherds are amazed and go to spread the word that the savior has arrived, the Bible tells us something. And this is my favorite part.

                Luke 2:19 says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” We have Mary, a girl who risked her life on a promise God made her. She traveled a huge distance while 9 months pregnant, then had her child in a stable among a bunch of animals and their messes. She has a boy and is greeted with angels singing praises and declaring that the savior is here!  Then you know what the Bible tells us? Well… aside from a couple tiny stories about Jesus as a boy in the temple… it doesn’t say much.

                So here is what we have. Jesus is born and Mary is made a promise, then when Jesus is 30 He begins his ministry. Did you catch that? There is 30 years in there where Jesus just lives as a regular man, takes after his step dad Joseph and becomes a carpenter. So Mary is made this promise and then has to wait 30 years for it to be fulfilled. If I were Mary, I’d start wondering if I’d been had.

                She pondered these miracles and that birth for 30 years before Jesus stood up and started publically saying that He was the Christ. Before He started doing miracles. I’m certain Mary had her doubts, who wouldn’t? But she stayed faithful the entire time. We even hear in John 2 that Mary was the one who gave Jesus a bit of nudging to do is first miracle, to change water into wine. Mary has so much faith! Even after 30 years she was the one saying, “I know you can do this. I know you’re the savior. I know you’re miraculous.”

                A faith like that astounds me. If I have to wait more than a week to see what God has planned I start seriously thinking that I need to make my own new plan. That God has played a trick on me. Waiting a year to find a job in ministry was incredibly hard. I can’t tell you how many times I told God that He had lied to me. That I’d never find a job. That He must not have known what He was doing when He called me into ministry. But you know what? I’m teaching a Catechism class tomorrow inside the church I’ve been serving for over a year and a half now. And I’m going to tell them the story of Jesus, and how God’s timing isn’t always our timing. Sometimes it can take 30 years to see what awe inspiring things God has done with your help. Sometimes we’ve got to store things up in our heart, because it might take longer than we’d like to see the fruit we’ve helped create.

 

 

Picture by DEakaBlackDragon