It’s a question I have concerning the Christmas story.
The Bible says, “All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” (Luke 2:18-19 NLT).
On this Christmas weekend, I want to share what I believe is happening in Mary’s heart.
But first, coffee. You see, I have a Yeti Lowball—an insulated cup with the potential of making coffee the same temperature as an oven full of gingerbread cookies. To keep my tongue from being scorched, I often use my Yeti without the lid. The coffee is insulated by the sides of the cup, but the steam rises straight into the air.
This is a beautiful image of worship. There’s a warm fire in our hearts because of God’s love. But our praise—our steam, if you will—only goes toward Heaven. “Fear Yahweh your God, worship Him, and take your oaths in His name” (Deut. 6:13 HCSB).
Before Luke mentions Mary’s heart, he shares Mary’s song of praise to God. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, calls her blessed above all women (Luke 1:42). Some of Mary’s song goes as follows: “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:46-48 NLT).
Mary’s heart is flooded with light—the passionate fire of God. Hebrews 12:29 says, “for our God is a consuming fire” (NLT). Where there’s fire, there’s light. Paul writes, “I pray that your heart will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance” (Eph. 1:18 NLT).
Mary’s heart is simply full of warm worship unto God. After all, who is she to be a part of God’s story?
Who cares about Mary’s heart? You see, the state of your heart determines how you celebrate the Christmas season. Actually, it determines how you live your life.
Some view God as a character—you know, like a story character. Others admire God’s character—that is, His distinctive characteristics.
I don’t believe there’s a better time to discuss the character of God than Christmas. Why? Because the Christmas story reveals God’s heart for humanity. That He would come to earth in the form of a baby. That He would use the most ordinary people in the most ordinary setting to fulfill the most extraordinary story ever. That’s the character of God.
Today, I wonder if you have a heart like Mary’s. I wonder if you have a personal relationship with the God of all creation. I wonder if you realize the power and truth behind the Christmas season. If not, God desires to warm your heart right now.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10 NIV).
Has God’s love found you?
God desires you and me to have a heart like Mary. To live in awe and wonder at the majesty of God. To worship Him with joy. To let the steam of our fiery hearts rise toward Heaven. This is the way God desires us to live—not just during Christmas, but each and every day.
Isaiah Pauley is a senior at Wahama High School. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page.