“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
So often God’s greatest truths are piecemeal, but oh how sublime when they begin to fall into place.
A mother is a special creation of God. Unlike fathers, who express their love in different ways, a mother seemingly has a special, God-given knack for observing details. Perhaps it’s because she carried that child in her womb for nine months, feeling him/her kick during the night while daddy slept.
Or, maybe there’s a special relationship because the developing child’s life is totally depend upon hers.
Regardless, we shouldn’t be surprised that “Mary kept (Grk. ‘suntereo’—‘to keep closely together, to conserve from ruin, remember, observe, guard against loss, etc.’) all these things and pondered (Grk. ‘sumballo’—‘to combine, converse with, meditate upon, etc.’) them in her heart.”
Simply put, she “chewed the cud” on everything from the time of Gabriel’s arrival to Jesus’ birth in the stable to the shepherds’ arrival and beyond (Lk. 2:51).
We know not if she kept a diary; but, it’s certain she kept mental notes. Like looking at a photo album and remembering the various “seasons of life” (Eccl. 3:1-8), Mary began weaving all of the various events and experiences into a beautiful mosaic. And, even though it wouldn’t be until after Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension that all of the pieces of His Jigsaw Puzzle (Who He was/is and what He came to do) would fall into place, she still knew He was special and she was “highly favored (graced)by the Lord and supremely blessed among all women” (Lk. 1:28).
Dear Pilgrim, shouldn’t we do the same in our own lives?
If we’ve truly been born from above, should we continue living a “much to do about nothing” life. . .always engaging in trivial pursuit. . .whiling away our time instead of “redeeming it” (Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5). . .instead of “contemplating the Christ,” Who came all the way from Heaven to die in our place on the Cross?
No doubt Mary had a significant role in sharing the Christ-Story with Jesus’ Apostles. We must remember the Gospel writers weren’t around that night in Bethlehem and there were no recording devices (e.g., video cameras, cassette recorders, etc.) to capture those events.
Thus, we are safe in concluding that Mary’s “mother memory and musings” helped them accurately record Jesus’ Birth for future generations. And, we should also “hide these things in our heart” (Ps. 119:11) so we can bear witness to those around us of how and why Jesus came.
Remember: As someone once said, “We’re the only Bible that some people will ever read” and “We’re the only Jesus that some people will ever see.” Pretty daunting responsibility, isn’t it? But, oh, what a blessed one! May the Holy Spirit help us be like Mary today by getting alone “in a nook by the brook with the Book” and privately pondering the wondrous truths of Who Jesus is and what He came to do. Then, may we be faithful witnesses of this Story even as the shepherds were that night (Lk. 2:20).
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated December 29, 2009