Intentional Thoughts

A Starry Night

Take a piece of dark paper/wall board/poster board/ etc. Attach this to a wall or some other well-traveled place in your house. Cut out white stars and place near this spot along with a pen. As the days pass take time to write things of thanksgiving, instances of joy or happiness, or even concerns that we have. After pasting these to the board this will help serve as a reminder of events in our lives.

Mary’s Intentional Thoughts

Christmas now looms just 11 days away. However you may plan to celebrate and whatever your thoughts are this Christmas let’s try to imagine Mary and Joseph for a moment.  Out of place, adapting to and learning the reality of the other person so prominent in your life and into this confusion comes a baby. What an opportunity to love!

And then the shepherds. It’s more than likely that there were several people at Jesus’ birth. In the communities of those days everything was shared and the needs of this young woman would have been a priority for many, especially those whom had carried and born children themselves. Those people were expected. What was not expected was men coming down from the hills outside of town to visit and bless this child.

Luke seems to be retelling this story from Mary’s perspective and the phrase he uses should cause us to pause today; But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. She was intentional in her memory and it caused her to keep these memories in a way that would influence later actions. This is the same type of thing you would do if you realized that every day at the same time you were blocked by a train on the tracks. You might consider a different route to take or an alternate time to travel. Mary is literally allowing her life to be changed by what she is viewing happening around her as she watches these men and others react to the birth of Jesus.

So often I am unintentional in my habits and lifestyle choices. I bounce around in areas of gratefulness and can quickly become sidetracked in remembering spiritual and life lessons that I have learned. Today’s opportunity for a family will help in these days leading into Christmas and even into the new year.

Published by Daniel M Harding

Husband, father, associate pastor.

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