The Gift of Reflection

No need to search for it at Macy’s or Best Buy or Target. It can’t be purchased at the tree lot along with a Frazier fir and pine garland. And it won’t greet you at the office Christmas party or your city’s holiday parade.

No, it’s up to us to receive it, to make time for it this season. An open invitation to quietly reflect on the wonderful meaning of God’s Christmas narrative is His gift to us each day of Advent, but it could be lost among the bells and bows and holly.

Mary reflected; she pondered. I wonder what she thought about in the quiet moments of her unexpected pregnancy: an angel visit, a soon-to-be husband’s guiding dream. Surely, she must have contemplated all that had happened to her. And then she must have imagined what her life would be like when the time came for the baby to be born. Did she ever picture shepherds and angels and kings sharing in the story…

Like us, Mary knew of God’s mercy and deliverance in her people’s past. And based on this, she wisely, humbly chose to believe His plan for her in the present. We are told in Luke 2 (actually twice) that Mary “treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean” (Luke 2:19).

We, too, can ponder. We can believe and be part of God’s plan when we reflect on His faithfulness in the past, and rely on His good purpose in our present circumstances.

He is faithful. ~ 1 Thess. 5:24

He is loving. ~Psalm 25:10

He has good plans for us. ~ Jer. 29:11

Where have you seen God’s faithfulness in the past?

How is God demonstrating His faithfulness, love and purpose in your current circumstances?

Advent Reflection:

Read Mary’s Song (Luke 1:46-55 NIV) and the reflection questions following.

And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,

    for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”

What phrases speak to your life right now? Treasure these words. Write them down, carry them with you, and ponder them over the next few days. May God’s Word speak to you during times of reflection this season.

The time for reflection is here… 

Today is a GOOD day!

~ Natalie

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