Lent 2020 – Day 14

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. – Luke 2:19

For some unknown reason, this particular verse popped up in my conscience today. Before this random thought, I was not thinking about Mary, or the birth of Jesus, or Christian theology, or really anything to do with this verse. I don’t even think I was thinking. If I recall correctly, I was legit just walking down the street after a soothing massage to dinner.

I’ve always loved this nugget of a verse in the midst of Jesus’ birth story. We have a four different versions of the birth of Jesus, but Luke’s account is the only one that has this important detail.

I believe this verse is particularly beautiful because how often do we get insight into what the characters in the Bible are really thinking? They didn’t have widespread paper or global literacy – all we have are these limited oral histories and some letters. This verse was important enough to be included; Mary’s thought in this very moment was important enough to be included, a woman’s way of thinking is officially in God’s Word forever.

Granted, this is a very important moment in Mary’s life, so obviously she’d treasure it and ponder it for the rest of her life, so that she could retell it to Luke or Paul years later for the records. My mum has 3 children and she can tell you the details of what happened for each child’s birth.

But as I read different commentary snippets on this verse, I think there’s more to this little nugget than just Mary remembered that her son’s virgin birth was wild where magi and shepherds popped out of nowhere to worship her baby.

One way to interpret this verse is to showcase Mary’s humility – she kept this memory to herself because she didn’t want to boast. Another way to glean meaning from this verse is that Mary didn’t fully understand in the moment, yet she kept it dear in her heart so she could reflect and hopefully some clues in the future will bring new understandings.

I don’t believe in coincidences (said it before, but I’ll say it again for the sake of this post). So I don’t think God just randomly placed this verse on my heart today when my body was relaxed and my guard was down.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past lately. My mind’s been given a lot of liberty when my body’s on shut down. The memories I’ve shared with so many people (one in particular) are moments that I cannot seem to forget, nor do I want to, even if I don’t stay in contact with most of them (one in particular) anymore.

Why would I choose to forget, when so much of my memories have made me into who I am?

Luke 2:19 is a verse that I’ve pondered on for years, so thank God I have meditated on it for a long time or else God won’t have been able to recall it back up for today.

In the past, I’ve loved it because it reminds me that there will be moments that God has given me and me only to remember, and there’s value in keeping them safe. God has also shown me that there will be memories that won’t make sense in the moment, but they might in the future if I remember to remember.

Today, I think God’s telling me that there are memories you simply can’t forget because of the way they made you feel.

I don’t think Mary simply ‘treasured’ and ‘pondered’ just because her memory’s great (it probably was, she had no smartphones to handicap her), but how can you forget memories and moments that have fundamentally shaped you and changed you forever?

Memories are like treasures that we’re called to ponder upon. There’s a commentary that the original meaning behind ‘ponder’ is ‘weighed’, where Mary “”weighed” [these things] in her mind, giving to each circumstance its just importance, and anxiously seeking what it might indicate respecting her child”.

I think God’s telling me that it’s okay to remember, it’s better to remember. The reason why I remember is because it was, is, important. And if it’s important to me, it’s important to Him too. And if I keep seeking, God will continue to reveal the meaning, or the value of the treasure, behind the memory.

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