MARY’S PONDERING HEART

by Mickey Rapier | Dec. 23, 2018

“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

LUKE 2:19 ESV

Have you ever had something happen to you that was so significant, so unexpected that you just couldn’t believe it? It’s in those moments that God seems to lean down and whisper, “I’m here!” I’ve had those moments when I’ve been absolutely speechless, watching God do the unexpected. I know I will never forget the instances where God has rocked my ordered world.

You know, Joseph and Mary’s world was pretty ordered when God interrupted their lives. This happened when He sent an angel to them and turned everything upside down. On the verge of beginning a new life together, unexpectedly, a child entered the picture – and not just any child at that! In obeying the law of the land, they traveled ninety miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Can you imagine being nine months pregnant and traveling ninety miles on horseback? Every time the horse stumbled or stepped on a stone on the rough, dusty roads of Israel, she must have endured pain and discomfort. Surely someone in the government could have given them an exemption! But no, hundreds of years earlier, Micah prophesied (Micah 5:2) that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem, and it had to be so.

Upon entering Bethlehem, the weary couple faced seeming indifference to Mary’s condition in a city of hurried travelers there to register for the census. There wasn’t a place to stay or anyone willing to take them in, so Mary gave birth to God’s Son in a shelter intended for livestock. Christ’s basinet was a feeding trough. How could this young girl grasp the cascade of events this baby’s birth would set in motion? Surely Mary never imagined people singing songs about reindeer or chestnuts roasting on an open fire during a commemoration meant for Him. 

Jesus’ birth was and is sacred, worthy of worship and veneration.

Sacred… that’s a good word for us to ponder when considering His birth. Matthew 1:21 reminds us that Christ was born to “save His people from their sins.” In a world with no hope of salvation, Salvation was born.

Mary stood at the center of this miracle. She didn’t ask for any of it, but willingly accepted the task God placed before her. Then two words appear in Luke 19 that capture my attention: treasured and pondered. When the shepherds told Mary and Joseph about the angels appearing in the night sky and their message of “good news of great joy,” her understanding of all the happenings of the last nine months coalesced. The Greek word, “sumballousa” suggests more than just remembering, but a “putting together” of the events of God’s magnificent story. The words of the angel had really come true. The angel, the shepherds, the baby… indeed, “nothing was impossible with God.” She treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

We must not forget or trivialize those occasions when God leans down and reminds us that He is here. He does so for a purpose, just as He did throughout the Scriptures. And when He does, treasure the moments and ponder them in your heart.

5 Comments

  1. Pat Thompson

    This years Advent services and devotionals have been outstanding and such a blessing! Even better than last year, if that is possible. God has provided our church with the most amazing and talented staff! Thank you to each one of you and Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  2. Janet Matthew

    I subscribed to your Advent devotions when I was visiting my daughter. I look forward to drinking my coffee and reading them every morning. You are all gifted writers and I have thoroughly enjoyed these daily readings

    Reply
  3. Darla Beller

    Songs about reindeer and cheatnuta roasting on an open fire…they do, indeed, seem ill fit for the time that was meant for commemorating the One born to save us. How easily distracted we can get! Treasure and ponder are good words. I choose to use them to focus on the reason for my savior’s miraculous birth. Thank you for reminding us. In fact, thanks to all of you who have helped us start our advent season treasuring and pondering the glory of God in advent.

    Reply
  4. Barbara Tillman

    And, thank you for the reminder of the “sacred”. It is indeed a sacred time.

    Reply
  5. Stephen Stilley

    Thank you very much my friend for the precious words

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mary’s Pondering Heart

BY: Mickey Raiper | Dec. 23, 2018

“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

LUKE 2:19 ESV

Have you ever had something happen to you that was so significant, so unexpected that you just couldn’t believe it? It’s in those moments that God seems to lean down and whisper, “I’m here!” I’ve had those moments when I’ve been absolutely speechless, watching God do the unexpected. I know I will never forget the instances where God has rocked my ordered world.

You know, Joseph and Mary’s world was pretty ordered when God interrupted their lives. This happened when He sent an angel to them and turned everything upside down. On the verge of beginning a new life together, unexpectedly, a child entered the picture – and not just any child at that! In obeying the law of the land, they traveled ninety miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Can you imagine being nine months pregnant and traveling ninety miles on horseback? Every time the horse stumbled or stepped on a stone on the rough, dusty roads of Israel, she must have endured pain and discomfort. Surely someone in the government could have given them an exemption! But no, hundreds of years earlier, Micah prophesied (Micah 5:2) that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem, and it had to be so.

Upon entering Bethlehem, the weary couple faced seeming indifference to Mary’s condition in a city of hurried travelers there to register for the census. There wasn’t a place to stay or anyone willing to take them in, so Mary gave birth to God’s Son in a shelter intended for livestock. Christ’s basinet was a feeding trough. How could this young girl grasp the cascade of events this baby’s birth would set in motion? Surely Mary never imagined people singing songs about reindeer or chestnuts roasting on an open fire during a commemoration meant for Him. Jesus’ birth was and is sacred, worthy of worship and veneration. Sacred… that’s a good word for us to ponder when considering His birth. Matthew 1:21 reminds us that Christ was born to “save His people from their sins.” In a world with no hope of salvation, Salvation was born.

Mary stood at the center of this miracle. She didn’t ask for any of it, but willingly accepted the task God placed before her. Then two words appear in Luke 19 that capture my attention: treasured and pondered. When the shepherds told Mary and Joseph about the angels appearing in the night sky and their message of “good news of great joy,” her understanding of all the happenings of the last nine months coalesced. The Greek word, “sumballousa” suggests more than just remembering, but a “putting together” of the events of God’s magnificent story. The words of the angel had really come true. The angel, the shepherds, the baby… indeed, “nothing was impossible with God.” She treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

We must not forget or trivialize those occasions when God leans down and reminds us that He is here. He does so for a purpose, just as He did throughout the Scriptures. And when He does, treasure the moments and ponder them in your heart. 

5 Comments

  1. Pat Thompson

    This years Advent services and devotionals have been outstanding and such a blessing! Even better than last year, if that is possible. God has provided our church with the most amazing and talented staff! Thank you to each one of you and Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  2. Janet Matthew

    I subscribed to your Advent devotions when I was visiting my daughter. I look forward to drinking my coffee and reading them every morning. You are all gifted writers and I have thoroughly enjoyed these daily readings

    Reply
  3. Darla Beller

    Songs about reindeer and cheatnuta roasting on an open fire…they do, indeed, seem ill fit for the time that was meant for commemorating the One born to save us. How easily distracted we can get! Treasure and ponder are good words. I choose to use them to focus on the reason for my savior’s miraculous birth. Thank you for reminding us. In fact, thanks to all of you who have helped us start our advent season treasuring and pondering the glory of God in advent.

    Reply
  4. Barbara Tillman

    And, thank you for the reminder of the “sacred”. It is indeed a sacred time.

    Reply
  5. Stephen Stilley

    Thank you very much my friend for the precious words

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NWA Christmas