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Baby sleeping

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Luke 2:15-20
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Life goes on for the family of Jesus. In a few days Jesus will be circumcised and dedicated, and then a few weeks later his family will have to flee Herod's murderous henchmen. In Egypt they will have time again to become more secure.

For now Mary has found a place within herself where only she and God spend time. While the men around her talk and laugh and sing and tell their stories to everyone, she retreats often to that place. She remembers Gabriel's announcement, Elizabeth's joy when her own baby seemed to be clapping his hands inside her, her tears when Joseph seemed ready to abandon her and her joy when he returned.

What detail does she not remember from the evening of his birth? The cold air, the straw, the pain followed by such relief, and then peace. She held Jesus, shared him with Joseph. Their smiles, their touches in the night, and she was certain of God's nearest presence.

Within that circle of heavenly light God held them close and safe. Mary's heart felt peace. Jesus slept.

Make my heart still, Lord, and let me treasure your presence within me. You make all things new.

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