Gabriel appears to Mary and announces to her that she will be with child and the impregnating power and source will be God. She will remain a virgin and still be pregnant and bring forth a child who will be the Son of God. Luke tells us that, "Mary pondered all this in her heart." She must have been a unique and devout young lady. Gabriel called her, "Highly Favored One." How does a very young woman ponder such incredible information?
The second time we find Mary pondering the incarnation is when the shepherds came from the fields and told Mary and Joseph what they witnessed. Now, nine months after Gabriel's first visit Mary is in deep thought about her child. Does Mary have any real understanding of the implications of bringing forth the Christ of God? Would she know of the Old Testament psalm that teaches that her Son is the Creative power that filled the universe?
We will probably never know what filled Mary's heart in that period of time. But, let's try placing our mind and heart in the position of pondering Christmas as if it never took place. I challenge those who read these words to find time in the busy days ahead and "ponder" our world without Christ and Christmas. To do this you will have to set aside time and deliberately and deeply think about the implications of a Christ-less world.
I believe that the implications are dark and frightening. On an educational level our great universities on the east coast would be gone. They began as Christian Colleges and Universities. The Midwest would not have Notre Dame. England would be left without Cambridge and Oxford. The wonders of art and literature would be bereft of such works from DaVinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and on and on.
Medical care would be set back hundreds of years. Many major hospitals would vanish. Death would become commonplace and disease could have indeed leave many parts of Africa, India and Asia devastated. The implications on the social scale are catastrophic.
The implications on a personal basis are dark and frightening. As prevalent as evil and hatred is today, without Christ, barbarism would control and personal freedoms would only come to the powerful. So, this Christmas please, "Ponder Christmas" and what it really means to this world.