An Advent Prayer: Knowing and Treasuring Jesus

     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. Luke 2:16-19 (NIV)

     Dear Lord Jesus, this Scripture is crammed so full of holy mystery and immeasurable grace. You, the very God who created and sustains all things, who feeds birds and clothes the fields—you drew nourishment from a young maiden’s breast. And Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”—and well she should.

    But “hurrying off” like a shepherd to tell others about you has always been easier for me than sitting still and letting you tell me about yourself. It’s always been easier for me to talk than to listen, to stay busy than to relax, to be “productive” than to be meditative. I confess this as sin, Jesus, for knowing about you isn’t the same as knowing you intimately. An informed mind is not the same thing as an enflamed heart.

     Lord Jesus, to know you is eternal life, and I do know you, but I want to know you so much better. Thank you for everything you’ve already accomplished for us through your life, death, and resurrection; and for everything you’re presently doing as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, constant Intercessor and loving Advocate; and everything you will be to us in the new heaven and new earth—Bridegroom to Bride. There’s so much to treasure—so much to ponder.

    May the gospel totally rearrange all the price tags in my life, Jesus. May the gospel slow me, settle me, and center me; that I might exclaim with Paul, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain… indeed, I consider all things as rubbish compared to the surpassing excellency of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” So very Amen I pray, in your peerless and praise-worthy name.