“And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Luke 2:18-19
I love this part of the Christmas story. I imagine the shepherds, having just seen the Newborn King, left in awe and amazement, proclaiming to everyone what had happened.
Then there’s Mary.
Luke says in verse 19, “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” The conjunction “BUT” is a powerful word here. It separates the woman Mary was from other women and, I believe, shows one of the reasons she found favor with God. Mary was a contemplative woman. She took time to consider, meditate, and quietly ponder things. The first words she says in her song are “My Soul Magnifies the Lord” (Luke 1:46).
It’s more than just the words of her mouth, though. Her faith goes to the deepest part of her soul – a quiet, constant place of discernment We see the way she faithfully discerns in even the question she asks – ‘How can this be?’ I believe it was more of a rhetorical question, done in faith, but shows an overwhelmness within her.
Mary had nine months to get ready for the birth. Nine months to dwell on the angel telling her “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:31-33.
I bet she spent a lot of her time contemplating and replaying those words the angel spoke to her.
Mary teaches us a lot about pondering and being contemplative. She shows us the importance of learning to treasure things in your heart and share them in quiet prayer. Many times we think of prayer as us talking, but there is so much about prayer that is done while listening and mediating on His Word.
Choose your favorite Bible verse or passage to contemplate on. Do this in quiet, taking time to treasure the words in your heart. Spend this intentional time in the Word and with God – silently praying and openly listening.