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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ponder Even While Busy

Season's Greetings and Salutations, Warriors and Scholars!
What are you pondering this Christmas season? Are you pondering about what gifts to buy for someone? How about that big play your kid is in that has rehearsals all weekend long? Are you pondering who to ask to that special dance on New Year's Eve? Maybe this is your first Holiday season with a certain someone just gone or adversely your first season experiencing Christmas with new eyes from Christ.

We have a lot going on around us and in our lives this time of year. Events, honey-do lists, kids activities, needs at church, etc, etc. Our American culture tends to be busy all of the time, but especially now in this time of year. In one of the Eureka Christmas specials ("Do You See What I See"), we find Jack and Allison and their family enjoying the last minutes of Christmas Eve and Allison is not even close to ready. She has so many things to do yet. She had grown up with very little Christmas and so now that she has kids, she tends to go way beyond the call of duty. With all the hub-bub going on, a bunch of signals get crossed and they all become animated. Literally, their senses start perceiving everything as various forms of animation throughout the episode because of another Eureka technical blunder.

Of course it all is fine in the end, but they don't really have time for individual pondering about the reason for the season. Luke records many things happening at Jesus birth. Travels to Bethlehem, angels appearing to some of the lowliest of social groups, etc. But one of the biggest lesson comes from Mary:
"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19
This verse comes to us during the night itself, when the shepherds came to find Jesus and the town was bustling with travelers for the census as well as Roman soldiers. Have you ever considered the actual atmosphere? People walking past the door looking for a place to stay or where to sign up for the census. Roman soldiers harassing the citizens because they would rather be fighting "for the glory of Rome" instead of "babysitting" a bunch of Jews. Vendors selling bread, fish, papyrus and other goods. People complaining about how much in taxes they had to pay.

I think Mary had other things on her mind, though. What it would mean for God's Son to be born near the animals instead of a private room? Why would angels tell shepherds, whom people disliked, a smelly and out-cast group. Why was she chosen? How would she raise a child that was supposed to change everything? Why were angels constantly appearing to proclaim the coming of this child? Remember they had approached her, Joseph, and now the shepherds.

Here we find Jesus operating as both "Lion" with great pomp and ceremony of angels proclaiming his birth and as "Lamb" by being born not in a palace but in what would have been a barn and only those with little respect and means being told about it by these angels.

In all of the hub-bub of the aforementioned Eureka episode, there are some interesting character explorations as a robot takes time to learn from Rudolph (who is in dog form). In order to learn this, he has to sit down and allow Rudolph to ponder his existence with him. He has to stop and be still for a time.

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