I still have vivid memories of the day my wife and I were married. One of my favorite memories was our entrance into the reception hall following our wedding service. As a wedding gift, two good friends brought in their entire big band, and they were playing the classic swing tune “In the Mood” as we entered. That song became the soundtrack of a moment filled with images of people we love.  Someone had given us wise advice to “be in a bubble” throughout our wedding day and soak in the people, experiences, and events of that day and let them be permanently etched into our minds and hearts. We followed that advice, not realizing that some of our loved ones—my parents, sister, my wife’s grandmother, even other relatives and friends—would no longer be with us several years later. Every time I remember our wedding, my memories are wrapped with love and thanksgiving to God for my wife as well as the people and events of that day. I also reflect on the someday-coming heavenly feast that will be infinitely greater than our wedding reception.  What could compare to an unending banquet-reunion with Jesus and all the family, friends, and people who love him, coupled with a perfect heavenly soundtrack?

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There’s an interesting verse towards the end of the Christmas story found in the 2nd chapter of Luke’s Gospel:

“All who heard the shepherds’ story expressed astonishment, but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and often thought about them.”
Luke 2:18-19

Luke was a physician who interviewed many first-hand followers of Jesus as he wrote this Gospel. Many scholars believe Luke got this insight from Mary herself, or another family member or friend who was close to Jesus.  In any case, it’s clear that Mary etched all the events that surrounded Jesus’ birth in her heart and mind. She remembered and carefully considered them throughout Jesus’ life, death, and even after his resurrection.

A big part of a life of worship is remembering.  Remembering is the choice to call to mind, weigh, and ponder God— all He is, all He says, and all He has done. This type of holy remembering is wrapped in the soundtrack of love, thanks, and praise for God’s goodness. It is steeped in a life that quietly treasures God, as well as the moments and people He has given us.

As we march through this Christmas season, I pray that each of us will choose to

•    Live in the bubble of love and thanks as we spend time with family and friends;
•    Remove ourselves from the frantic pace of the season to quietly read and reflect on Scripture and the reason for Christmas, Jesus Christ;
•    Etch in our minds and hearts the people and moments God has given us;
•    Be reminded that the day is coming when Jesus will return for all who have loved and received Him, to celebrate together in a grand, heavenly feast.

Let’s worship Jesus Christ, the soon and coming King, as we treasure all these things in our hearts and think about them often.

God bless you!

Chris Atkins