19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Today we come to the third response to the birth of Christ. We have seen the angels burst forth into jubilant praise. Yesterday we considered the shepherds drive to spread the news about what they had heard. (And in today’s text, they are joining the angels in praising!)
Today we focus on Mary. Luke tells us that she “treasured up all these things and pondered them.” She treasured and pondered.
One of the characteristics of our age is our busy-ness. We fill our lives with activities, work, entertainment and words. Sometimes this leaves little time for reflecting on our experiences and impressions. Time for evaluating and judging our actions and responses. And above all, taking them all into the presence of God in prayer that He would lead us to see ourselves and our times rightly.
This is the kind of pondering that is pictured here. Mary reflected on the whirlwind she had been caught up in. She meditated on the promises of God. She considered what her future might hold. She spent time sorting out what all of this meant within her and in her relationship with God.
We have been caught up in a whirlwind this past year. This year of COVID-19 shutdown and lockdowns has led many of us in ways we haven’t previously experienced. Some of us have faced reduced activity while others have been busier than ever. Some have been at peace, while many have struggled with worry and concern.
Mary’s example is an encouragement for me to take the time to ponder the experience: What has God been doing within me this year? How has God been inviting me to grow? Where is He calling me to repent and change? What gifts is He calling on me to use more fully? Who is He calling me to give myself for? How is He calling me to grow as a disciple?
These are weighty questions. Important questions that are worth pondering. May God bless each of us by His Spirit to treasure and ponder His work in our lives!
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For previous Abide devotions, go to https://stjohnslutheran.net/category/abide/