A Pondering Perspective

by Sarah Freymuth December 26, 2023
“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 (ESV)

A festive tree. Twinkling lights. Hot cocoa. Everything screams “cozy” in the Christmas season.

However, behind the scenes, we’ve scrambled to find gifts on lists, top off our decorations from last year, and strain our brains as we assess the events piled up on the calendar. The weeks leading up to Christmas nearly bowl us over with stress, strain and uncertainty. Woven within the wonder of caroling and cookie decorating, the pace of it all threatens to knot us up and choke the life out of what this season truly offers. There’s hardly any time to sit still and be.

Or maybe this holiday season has brought up emotions of loss, loneliness and forgottenness. You've tried to escape them, but in the face of festivities, there seems to be nothing but time to process what you've experienced.

Either way, after the chaos of Christmas Day has passed, our weary hearts may need a rest and a perspective shift.

So travel back in time with me to the first Christmas. After miles on the back of a donkey, traveling to a city with no accommodations. After a manger and a baby. After a brightly shining star and holy songs sung by angels.

Now, it is calm. A man, a woman and a child. Above their heads, the sky winks with a night wrapped in soft, quiet wonder. Lying beside her sleeping boy, Mary takes in His every feature. With a few moments of peace to reflect, she remembers the journey …

She recalls the angel Gabriel appearing to her with a nation’s long-awaited news of a Messiah — how surprised and terrified she had been (Luke 1:26-33)! The Savior would be knitted together in her womb. This alone would have been enough to overwhelm, but she likely also endured the looks and whispers of Nazareth’s busybodies, who knew she was betrothed (not married) yet bearing a belly. Unheard of. Unspeakable. The angel of the Lord told her not to be afraid, for the almighty God showed favor to her in her unwavering and innocent faith. God knew she would be the one to carry His Son, to raise the man who would raise the dead.

So she took hold of her faith, following her fiancé, Joseph, to a tiny town, and welcomed the world’s Light in the darkness of night.

Here Mary rested, pondering all that had transpired. For this moment, this tired, breathless moment of reverence, she thought of nothing but the sound of her son, our Savior, breathing beside her. She treasured the stillness, a holy night frozen in time. This little boy was everyone’s hope, and tonight, He was her own miracle.

“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

How do we find a silent night in our stress-filled days to ponder the birth of our Lord and look forward to His coming again?

We still our hearts and clear a space within us to ponder the wonders of the Lord.

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation” (Psalm 62:1, ESV).

Our souls need slowness to savor what this season means, what God’s love means through Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23).

This week, as the dust of Christmas settles, let's settle down. Maybe sit in a cozy chair in the corner of your living room. Turn the tree lights on and the clutter off. Silence yourself before your heavenly Father, pull out your Bible, and read the tale of wonder set in the town of Bethlehem. Let’s ponder in our hearts and treasure the Savior who transforms our lives.

Dear God, thank You for sending Your Son to save us from our sins. This is the purpose of Christmas. Please quiet my spirit. Take me back to that silent night so long ago. To the angels, to the manger, to that sleeping boy who saved us all. Please let me remember why we celebrate this most wondrous time — Your Son, Immanuel, God with us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


If you’ve been in a season of doubt or if things have felt uncertain, unpredictable and unreliable, our new study is for you … Keep Holding On: 30 Promises From God You Can Cling to Right Now. This 30-day journey will be a lifeline that will show you what is always certain, sure and true with God. Each week, we’ll give you a promise to pray through and a promise to cling to, plus other features to help you apply what you are learning. Click here to get your study guide, and join us on January 8 in the free First 5 mobile app!





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Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (ESV).

Isaiah 26:3, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (ESV).

What is keeping you from slowing down to receive the gift of Jesus, who is God with us?

Take some time to sit and slow down today. Light a candle. Play a soft Christmas hymn in the background. Write a prayer to God reimagining the night of Jesus’ birth. Thank Him for all the ways He has been good to you.

In the comments, share how you plan to ponder the wonder of Christmas this week.

© 2023 by Sarah Freymuth. All rights reserved.

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