Each Christmas I attempt to find something in Luke’s Christmas story that is meaningful and sometimes glossed over. This year I am drawn to the verse in Luke 2:19 that reads “…Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart“. I would guess that many who read this simply believe that Mary was content and peaceful with all that has happened, having reconciled it all and found it to be good. I might suggest that is not at all what this passage means.
Ponder, from the Greek word ponderare means to weigh. Defined it means to carefully consider, to examine, specifically, something that is not completely understood or determined. Remember, the passage records that everyone around her was rejoicing over the good news, but Mary was pondering, contemplating, perhaps partly in personal reverence but also partially in great confusion. Her first words upon hearing from the angel gives us a clue, when she replied, “why me?” We refer to her as bless nd she is depicted as this Holy, saintly mother of God, when in fact she was a teenager at best, never married, never sexually active, and now the mother of someone being hailed as the Messiah. I personally feel she pondered because she was perplexed and a bit less than confident.
How many of us actively seek God’s will or purpose in our lives but become confused at the events He causes or allows to invade our world? Even for the rare few who can say they heard God’s voice, there is still trepidation when it comes to being obedient to something when we don’t fully understand the purpose or know where it will lead us. When Mary was told by the angel that she would soon be pregnant, she must have pondered how Joseph and her family would receive her. When she and Joseph hear the words from Simeon that “a sword will pierce your soul too“, she must have pondered those words as well. When she and Joseph had to flee to Egypt with full knowledge that all infants under the age of two years were about to be slaughtered because of her son, she must have pondered these things. When Mary witnessed the brutal beatings and stripes her son bore she must have been pondering. When she wept at the foot of the cross she surly pondered all these things. In fact she may have spent thirty-three years “pondering these things in her heart” until the time her son was resurrected from the grave and she finally understood!
I’m fifty-six year old and I ponder things and events all the time. Why would God allow this event to shatter my world? What purpose is there in going through this particular situation? What can possibly be worked out for my good from this impossible situation? If we are to be honest, we all have seasons where just like Mary, we ponder these things. And guess what? It doesn’t upset or Father in the slightest that we have honest questions, so long as at the end of the day, like Mary, we have a servant’s heart and can honestly say, just as she did, “very well, let it be unto me just as you have spoken“.
This Christmas many are in an unfamiliar situation, missing loved ones, suffering diseases, enduring trials unknown to others, and may be pondering, weighing, contemplating things for which there are no apparent answers. My prayer is that you find peace, hope, joy and love in the Christ Child we celebrate with full knowledge that His purpose in our lives is clear and perfect, even when we are left pondering.
To all my followers, let me say again how humbled I am that you read and subscribe to papaswords.com. I wish all of you, from the bottom of my heart, a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.
Available on Amazon Kindle.