“Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)
Advent is over and the Christmas season is here! Certainly this season is important, but the more Christmases that come and go, the more the holiday can just be a day and lose its wonder. I know my temptation is to start looking towards Lent and not give Christmas much thought after the gifts are all put away and work starts up again.
That was the reason this line struck me. This translation says Mary “reflected”, my bible says “pondered”, and I even saw that some translations say “treasured up”. All get at different parts of the same idea though. Mary wanted to keep what God was doing and save the moments for later, to let them become part of her story and to help her understand how her son was going to be the Messiah.
We could easily excuse Mary if she took in all the events of her story (the incredulous Annunciation, the frustrations of traveling while heavily pregnant, the discovery that she had no place better than a stable to give birth to her son, etc.) and had been reactive to those events. Next was the circumcision, then the presentation, and well, all the milestones of her little family. It is easy to take a day in and then move to the next. But Mary wanted to be intentional with everything that was happening to her and she wanted to give these moments a space in her heart so that she could cherish them as she deepened her understanding of what they all meant. For her, for her son and family, and for salvation history.
Now we don’t have nearly as overtly grand circumstances happening in our lives as Mary, but we do have so many moments that can slip past and get lost in the busyness of life. I see this passage as a reminder that we don’t have to quickly read these moments and then send them off. We can treasure them up in our own hearts and as that wealth of gratitude and understanding grows, so does our love for the Lord who gave us those moments.