“Mary treasured up all the things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19
A friend and I were recently discussing our favorite parts of the Christmas story from scripture. She talked about how for her, the true essence of the Christmas story is John 1. But for me, the Christmas story is truly Luke 2.
I think Advent is best summed up in Luke 2:19. After the birth of baby Jesus, it reads, “Mary treasured up all the things and pondered them in her heart.”
This line at first glance comes across as insignificant. It feels like a quiet bookend at the end of the climax moment. After all, so many action-packed, dramatic things had happened before it. Mary was carrying the savior of the world, Joseph stayed with her despite how crazy that sounded. They travel all the way to Bethlehem. Then she has the baby in a place chock full of animals, a barn-style place. A shimmery, larger than ever seen, once in a lifetime star blazes overhead. Shepherds hear the news from angels and come from afar to bear witness to the baby’s birth.
Then after all those amazing, remarkable, awe-inspiring things, Mary takes time to ponder. I think I can relate because I like the idea of a "deep ponder." I love the opportunity of free space in my day to sit and think things over. Truly, Mary sets the example in motion for centuries to come on how to appreciate the Advent season.
There are so many ways that Mary models the loveliest approach to Christmas. I think the heart of the Christmas season is pondering our faith journey, like Mary. Like both Mary and Joseph, by faith, we have overcome many impossible difficulties. Yet, by grace, we have been blessed by God, as Mary and Joseph were. Our arms are full of love and blessings, like Mary carrying the baby and holding it in her arms for the first time.
I long to have the presence of Mary this Christmas. I want to not lose sight of the beautiful, brilliant goodness found in Christ this season. Our eyes can look to the presents, the decorations, to the entertainment. I love all of those things, but I also don’t want them to be my first priority. Keeping our eyes focused on the most important thing, the Savior is where I want my heart to rest.
My hope is to keep Mary’s attitude not only during Advent, but all year long. To turn over the moments in our hearts like precious stones, a purposeful act. I don’t want to move so quickly through the actions of my days and weeks, without stopping to notice. I want to take it all in, savor it and be present to all of it. More pondering, less pressing.
I want to be like Mary. Despite all of the overwhelming things of the world, I can pause in the midst of it to ponder and treasure it all in my heart.