Summary: Mary got the message! Beginning that time, the Word from eternity came into our own earthly existence .... and THE WORD BECAME FLESH! Christ is taking shape in her womb. LET US NOW ALSO PONDER IN OUR HEARTS THE TREASURE IN TREASURE...
“TREASURE THE TREASURE”
“Mary treasured all these things and reflected (ponder) on them in her heart.” (NiV)
“but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” (NLT)
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The wise men from the east paid visit to the Child as they were guided by the eastern Star bringing with them prophetic gifts on what the Child would become. The Shepherds had heard the angelic message, paid their visit to the Holy Family, had seen the Infant Jesus and returned to their flocks, excitedly proclaiming the Good News as they went their way. As for Mary, her simple life had suddenly become miraculously spectacular, complicated and she needed time to take it all in. So she "treasured all these things," Luke writes, and "reflected on them in her heart." The NLT version says that “She thought about them often.” Perhaps the rest of her earthly life... A treasure in her heart.
Modern men and women whose lives have become too full and too fast have the same need to treasure and reflect. We need time to feel. We need time to think. After an event has jolted us or brought excitement to our lives, we need to ask ourselves, what was the meaning of that experience? Where do I go from here? As 2018 would come to a close let us treasure, reflect, ponder, think what had God had done for us this year. It will surely serve as a lesson, a treasure to hold and keep in our hearts. Reflection is difficult to do in a crowd. What we need in order to sort things out are solitude and silence. Such significant experiences could never occur except in times of quiet aloneness.
Mary was not the one to go around and tell people about how great she was, and how much God had blessed her. Instead, she just kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. And God used the Angelic visitation of Gabriel and praising angels, the wise men from the east, the shepherds to tell the world until now about Mary and her newborn babe.
Are there any treasure worth keeping in our hearts? The gifts and abilities which God has given us? The adventures of 2018, good or bad are jewels, the character flaws and mistakes and changes we have accepted are treasures we have to cherish. Of course we do. All of us does. Great and incredible changes, transformation, abilities and gifts we discovered which will do astounding things from God for us this 2019. But God does not want us to go around bragging about what He has given us. Instead, like Mary and Joseph, let us all quietly and humbly accept whatever position and privilege God has placed us in, and as we prove ourselves faithful with a little, He will give us more in the coming days ahead. Let us not blow our own horn. Let God blow it for us in His own perfect timing.
Paul writes in Philippians 2 that we should be like Christ, and I suppose we could say let’s be like Mary and Joseph, for making themselves of no reputation, acting like a servant to everybody, and humbling themselves to the greatest extent possible. And as a result, God highly exalted them and raised them up. Jesus was lifted above every name, in heaven and on earth, and before Him, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. We too, humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift us up in due time. Not that we wanted it, but this is the way God moves among His chosen ones.
Isn’t this a spectacular lesson? Joseph and Mary’s trials and troubles were overwhelming. They could even point the finger, if they had wanted to, at that selfish emperor, Caesar Augustus. But they didn’t. They didn’t become bitter, they became better. All of the suffering, inconvenience, and discomfort caused by the decree of Caesar was actually the loving hand of God working things out to accomplish His purposes in His own way for them.
And so, let us begin to treasure and ponder “those things of 2018”.
To ponder means to think about something carefully in your head -- to weigh it in your mind. It implies a serious process of mental activity – a careful consideration of all the factors involved. But what does it mean to ponder something in your heart? The original Greek text uses both the word that we translate into “ponder” and the word for “heart” in the same sentence. “Ponder” in the Greek suggests not just considering but also trying to put things together. But doing it in the “heart” gives an important emotional overlay to this process. To ponder in our heart is to try to feel it out as well as to think it out. It’s a kind of wholistic contemplative response.