Mary Knew

And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Luke 2:18-19

 Try to imagine this moment for Mary. Imagine the quiet and the stillness that surrounded her.

After their long and strenuous journey. After her hard and strenuous delivery. After the unexplainable visit of the shepherds and the unbelievable telling of their visit by angels.

All the sights and sounds (and smells) of the last few days had been nearly unbearable. And yet, in this quiet moment that followed, there rested Mary.

I imagine her holy newborn sleeping peacefully on her chest and Joseph perhaps off seeking a meal and his own moment of peace.

And I imagine in this moment, when all had come quiet, Mary’s breathing slowed, and her heart rested, and with a surrendering sigh, she just took it all in.

Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

There was a stillness there- and there was a great fullness. All had come to pass just as the angel had told her. This faithful young woman surely had moments of doubt, even as this Spirit-conceived baby grew in her womb. But in this moment- in the fullness of this moment- Mary knew.

This child Emmanuel- was now with us. This child Jesus- had come to save us. This was the Messiah- come to set His people free. This was her Son- lying peacefully in her arms in that cold and crude stable.

The scripture tells us Mary treasured up all these things. To treasure is “to hold or keep as precious” or “to collect and store up for future use.” I think Mary did both. All these things she had experienced over the last nine months were precious to her. They brought joy and brought forth great gratitude and worship back to her God. I think also they were given to her to store up for future use. The mother of Jesus Christ, who would grow to serve and save the world, would need a big store of treasures for her long journey ahead.

We see this phrase used again, twelve years later after their family visited the temple. “But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:51). Mary needed a big store of treasures for all she would watch her son endure. Years later, Mary would watch this son she bore hang on a cruel cross. (What a precious moment there when Jesus entrusted her care to his beloved disciple John.)

The scripture also tells us Mary pondered these things in her heart. To ponder is “to think about, to reflect on” or “to think or consider especially quietly, soberly, and deeply.” I think Mary did all of that. In the rush of all that had happened, she hadn’t had opportunity to reflect on any of it. But here she sat quietly, soberly, and deeply pondering the goodness and faithfulness of God and the fullness of all He had done in and through her- of all He had done, and would do, on her behalf and on behalf of her family.

There were so many things in this moment and throughout Jesus’ life that only Mary witnessed. All these things given her to treasure and ponder- to fill her soul so that it would overflow with praise and glory to her God and Savior.

And Mary said, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46)

“These things” she knew filled her soul so she could endure the hard journey set before her.

We have much to learn from Mary. We need to pause- if even for a moment on our hard and strenuous days- to rest and reflect. As hard as it may sometimes be to find- in a quiet and still moment, we can take in all that God has done in us and through us- and all He has done on our behalf and on behalf of our family.

We need to treasure and ponder the glimpses of God’s glory given only to us. Hold them in tight- store them up for the hard journey ahead.

“For the Mighty One has done great things for me- holy is His name.” (Luke 1:49)

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