It is over.
But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. (v. 19)
I wonder if, like me, Mary sat back at the end of this story and thought "How did it all go by so fast?" All the months of preparations--the gift lists, the shopping carts, the menu plans, the grocery stops, the wrapping and the cards and the lights and the crafts--and here we are, he is born, it's all done, and I look around and wonder where it all went. And all the generations of waiting for Messiah, all the prophecies, all the hopes, all the exile, all the oppression, all the fear and angel visitations and announcements and dreams and trimesters and donkey-rides and tax-paying and no-vacancies--and here we are. He is born. It's all done.
(Of course Mary's story, like mine, is only just beginning. That's something else worth pondering.)
It's time for a deep breath... the sigh of a woman who has only just been delivered; the sigh of a people who have been waiting centuries for this birth day. It's time for treasuring up the whole tale--the good, the bad, the ugly--all so real, so true, so necessary for this moment. It's time for pondering, soaking in, storing up inside ourselves all the songs of praise, the pangs of labor, the newborn cries. It's time to let go of all we did not accomplish, all the "to dos" left undone, all the I-meant-to-but-I-ran-out-of-times. It's time to rest, and to receive the blessing of the Day.
Thanks once again for joining me this Advent. I hope these weeks have been full of blessing for you and your families. Merry Christmas!