The Very Rev. Cynthia Kittredge, Dean and President of the Seminary of the Southwest, wrote a wise and insightful Christmas meditation. May we all ponder God’s word this Christmas.
And Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
As Advent comes to a close with the birth of Jesus, I think about the event when Word becomes flesh through the eyes of the mother who bears the child. Luke uses the verb “ponder” to describe Mary’s response to “all these things.” If waiting and anticipating, hoping and fearing are the postures of Advent, perhaps “pondering” might be the invitation of Christmas Day. As Jesus’ mother does, ponder the simple miracle of human birth. Ponder the census, the manger, the angels and shepherds, all these extraordinary signs. Ponder the mystery of God’s incarnation, coming into flesh and the divine spirit su using and irradiating all of the material world. The Greek, sumballo, “throw together” might be the English version of “turn over and over” in your mind. Surely we are drawn like Mary to look upon the holy child from every angle again and again on the night of his birth. The origin of the English word “ponder” has to do with weight, and the birth we contemplate is “important,” “deep,” and “heavy,” To ponder is to look on the present and to turn toward the future. Today we wonder at the fragility of this child. We ponder the gift and the risk of human life and we give thanks.
Holy and Loving God, thank you for the birth of this holy child, for the faith of his parents and for the love of God. Amen.
The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, ThD
Dean & President and Professor of New Testament
SEMINARY OF THE SOUTHWEST