Song: “All Is Well,” by Michael W. Smith and Carrie Underwood
Christmas Album: “The Music of Christmas,” by Steven Curtis Chapman; “All I Want,” by Steven Curtis Chapman; “Joy,” by Steven Curtis Chapman
Christmas DVD: “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Netflix Movie: “White Christmas”
Amazon Prime Movie: “An American Christmas Carol”
Feeln Movie: “Christmas in Conway”
• “A Christmas Story,” continues all day on TNT until 6 p.m. and TBS until 9 p.m.
• Christmas movies throughout the day on ION, Hallmark and Lifetime
• “Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration,” 10 a.m., ABC
• “A Christmas Story 2,” 10 a.m., CMT
• “Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey,” 11 a.m., ABC Family
• “Miracle on 34th Street,” 11 a.m., Sundance
• “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” 11:30 a.m., ABC Family
• NBA: New Orleans at Miami, noon, ESPN
• “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” 12:30 p.m., ABC Family
• “A Christmas Carol (1984),” 1 p.m., Sundance
• “A Christmas Carol (1951),” marathon runs from 1:30 p.m. until 3 a.m., FXM
• “Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas,” 2 p.m., PBS
• “The Santa Claus 3: The Escape Claus,” 2:15 p.m., ABC Family
• NBA: Chicago at Oklahoma City, 2:30 p.m., ABC
• “Twas the Night,” 2:30 p.m., Disney XD
• “Good Luck Jessie: NY Christmas,” 3 p.m., Disney
• “Arthur’s Perfect Christmas,” 3 p.m., PBS
• “Santa Hunters,” 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., Nickelodeon
• “The Toy Story That Time Forgot,” 4:30 p.m., ABC Family
• “Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas!” 4:30 p.m., Disney
• “Jingle All the Way 2,” 4:50 p.m. and 6:55 p.m., Bravo
• NBA: Cleveland at Golden State, 5 p.m., ABC
• “Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” 5 p.m., Disney XD
• “Elf,” 5 p.m., ABC Family
• “Wild Kratts: A Creature Christmas,” 5 p.m., PBS
• “Bad Santa,” 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., VH1
• “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” 7:15 p.m., ABC Family
• “CMA Country Christmas,” 8 p.m., ABC
• NBA: San Antonio at Houston, 8 p.m., ESPN
• “Four Christmases,” 8 p.m., TBS
• “Annie (1982),” 8 p.m., TCM
• “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors,” 9 p.m., NBC
• NBA: L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
Recipe: Pumpkin Pie
Quick Thought for Christmas
But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
This is one of my favorite phrases in the Bible: “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”
There was no way that Mary could fully have understood everything that had happened. Just ponder this in your heart.
Earlier in the year, Mary had been a normal Nazarene girl, gathering water from her well. Then came the angel’s visit, and nine months later she was a young, married mother. She was lying with her newborn son in a dirty, filthy stable, surrounded by dirty filthy shepherds who arrived with a story of another angelic visit.
In spite of the surroundings, it was clear that this child was special. The angel told her about Him being the Son of God, but in the months since then, there had to have been moments where it didn’t seem real. But here, on the night of Jesus’ birth, came a story of more angels from strangers.
So Mary received the first Christmas gift ever given: Jesus. She treasured Him and all that had happened. She couldn’t have seen the future and what God was ultimately doing, but she kept them in her heart and mind and “pondered” them, thinking through them carefully and wondering where God would lead them next.
And that’s ultimately where each of us is led on Christmas. God wants us to ponder these things for ourselves and consider what Jesus means to us individually. We all have the facts, and most of us have heard them at least once a year for our entire lives. The evidence is right in front of us. The question is, what does it mean. For you. For me.
More than anything you’ll get in a box or a bag, Jesus is the real treasure of Christmas. God is calling to you through His Son, whose birth we celebrate today. Don’t let the day pass without pondering what His birth, His life, His death mean to you. It may be for the first time, or it may be for the 50th time, but today, His birth is a chance to establish or renew your faith.
Reflection copyright © 2015 by Doug DeBolt.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.