But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
~ Luke 2:19
Here we are, in the the season of Advent, the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus. It is a time of silence and peace, a time of acceptance of grace. As Mary became aware of her son’s purpose,she “marvelled at these things.” And she “kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”
I ponder as I think about my four young-adult sons. I am not much like Mary and my sons' destiny is not like Jesus’, yet I find myself watching and marvelling as their own callings unfold.
For more than twenty years I repeated phrases to them, phrases like "take care of each other" and "remember to say thank you".
This year all four of them will be home for Christmas and now, it’s time to be quiet. This year I am in the role of having them come home to me for Christmas. I am the one fluttering and feathering, cleaning, decorating, and planning favorite dishes. And, like Mary, I will watch and pray and wonder.
This is the time to listen and love and cook more food, but not to talk. As Jesus’ calling unfolded with time, so will theirs. One son lives in New York City, a place I can only imagine. Another will marry this summer. The third is going to university and the youngest is working. I've watched my children grow and now, as their futures unfurl, will see what they'll become.
Christmas has come over me gently this year. I'll read the familiar story in the Bible, reflect on the presence of God in my life, the message of the angels, and Jesus' gift of peace and know that for all the mysteries and unknowns in our family’s lives, the good will is toward all of us, and ours is again the wonder and hope and joy.