Luke 2:19 (NIV)
19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
After the shepherds are visited by a midnight show of the angelic choirs, they hurry off to see this baby that will be the Messiah and Savior of all people. I can imagine that they are still shaking after experiencing the spectacle of heaven coming down to earth. After going house to house, barn to barn, stable to stable looking for a baby laying in a feed trough, they do find Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus.
As the shepherds share with Joseph and Mary what they had heard about their child, I can imagine that they were reviewing the content of what Gabriel the angel had told them separately about the coming of Jesus. The confirmation of what God was doing had to give them goose bumps. Mary had her encounter with the angel nine months prior to this, and Joseph’s visit from an angel occurred five months before this time. This was another reminder of what God was accomplishing as He sent Jesus to earth in the form of a baby on that holy night in Bethlehem.
Luke 2 tells us simply that Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. The Greek could be literally translated, “Mary preserved and kept all these words safe, fitting the pieces of the puzzle together in her heart.” This is my dynamic translation that brings out the aspects of the Greek words that show Mary’s intention to steward the words (lit. Rhema) that she had heard. I am using the idiom of the pieces of a puzzle (no puzzles mentioned in the Bible), because it shows the effort that she used to reconcile, and see the bigger picture that the Father was showing to his people – knowing that every time you get a word from the Lord it fits together with the others to give you better perspective.
I love the fact that Luke, who I believe interviewed Mary as he wrote his gospel, includes what Mary is doing to process all the information and experiences. Mary didn’t know all the information beforehand. She was experiencing God’s plan as He unfolded it, and comparatively she had very little information to base her decisions on. God wants us to learn how to walk by faith, and often will only tell us enough information to comfort, encourage or jumpstart us on the journey. “Go to a land that I will show you,” is all Abram had to go on when he left Ur with his family. The more I review the accounts of the coming of Jesus, the more I see Mary and Joseph as incredible faith filled people.
In your life, God has given you enough information about your future for you to walk out today. Most of us long for more revelation about what the road ahead looks like, but moving ahead looks more like turn by turn navigation through the leading of the Holy Spirit. As we walk closely with Him, He will lead us, and sometimes is gracious in giving us glimpses of where we are going (stops along the way), but rarely a detailed description of what our destination is. I think Jesus delights in surprises, and intends for them to be exciting and a blessing to us. When we are fearful about our future and try to control things, surprises aren’t very fun.
Like Mary, let’s persevere in remembering what God has shown us about the road ahead and continue to tune our ear to the confirming words that He is speaking to let us know we are going the right way.
May you steward the (rhema) words about your life carefully.
May the words you have heard pull you toward the destiny God has dreamed for you.
As you ponder the things of God in your heart, may He give you the confirmation and wisdom to put all the pieces of the puzzle of your life together.
Let this Christmas season have the space to do some treasuring and pondering with Him.
Andrew Burchett- Lead Pastor