“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”  Luke 2: 19

How do you respond to Christmas? There is great contrast in Luke chapter two where we read of the angels’ singing, the shepherd’s joy, and Mary pondering.

Pondering?

The shepherd’s choose to express their joy with public praise, but Mary decided to have private meditation. To reflect in her heart what God had just done in her life. It’s easy this time of year to participate in the public joy of Christmas. Carols, concerts, parties, programs. But, I’m wondering (or call it pondering) if time spent in quiet reflection is what’s needed most.

Reflection is part of ministry equipping. We usually cover all the other bases: training, affirmation, feedback, and evaluation, but forget to do just what Mary did—allow time for personal meditation on how God is at work in our life. And we often fail to ask those we’ve placed in ministry to do the same.

This Christmas, take time for reflection. Reflect on your ministry and what God is saying to you—about you.

Ask:
1. Where do I see God at work in my ministry?
2. What can I learn about myself from my ministry? (Strengths, gifts, passion, etc.)
3. What is my greatest satisfaction in this ministry?
4. What is my greatest disappointment in this ministry?

And lastly, ask yourself: Now what? What do I do now with what I’ve learned?

Your ponderings may reveal a new direction for 2014, or a renewed vision to continue on the path you’re traveling.  Slow down. Listen.  Take time to ponder.  Who knows what new things God may birth in your own heart and ministry.