My favorite telling of the birth of Christ is in Luke.
There are a few phrases that always catch me in Luke’s narrative. One of them is when the shepherds decide to go find this Savior that had been announced to them and they find Mary and Joseph and the baby and start telling them, and apparently others, about this glorious news made known to them by angels. It says:
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
When Mary heard these poor shepherds tell their story about the angel of the Lord announcing to them the good news of a Savior and the host of angels praising God with those famous words, “Glory to God in the highest! And on earth peace among those whom he is pleased!”, she didn’t seek out a publicist or start planning for her position as future Queen Mum. It says treasured up all the things that the shepherds told her and pondered them in her heart. And apparently that was a different reaction than the others who wondered.
The words “wondered” and “treasured” and “pondering” in those verses mean different things in the language they were written in.
Wondered means to marvel. To speak 13 year old (since my 13 year old will be hearing this tonight), they were like, “Whoa! That’s legit!”
Treasured means to preserve a thing from perishing or being lost, or to keep in mind lest it be forgotten. 13 year old translation: She told herself, “Self! DON’T FORGET THIS!”
Pondering means to bring together in one’s mind, to confer with one’s self. 13 year old interpretation: She said to herself, “Self! Isn’t this what that angel told you when you found out you were pregnant?!”
Mary didn’t have it all figured out when she believed the angel and when she followed Joseph to Bethlehem and when she had to labor and bear a baby in a dirty animal cave. She didn’t know what all these things meant exactly, but she listened, she believed God was at work here and she submitted herself to his will.
I love Mary. I love her willingness to just trust God and to meditate on the words spoken to her by his messengers. She didn’t over-analyze and try to make sense of it all. She just received the word meekly, thought about it a lot, and it gave birth to saving faith!
Later, her son would announce himself as the Light of the World and convict all the educated religious leaders of the day of their blindness and deadness of heart and condition as lovers of lies who couldn’t bear to hear the word of Christ. Mary could bear his words, even though she didn’t have it all figured out, like James (Jesus’ brother) would write later, she received with meekness the implanted word which saved her soul!
How do you receive the words you hear from the Bible? When you hear about Christ and the words of truth that He speaks how do you respond? Do you give it a fist bump? Do you treasure it and talk to yourself about it and chew on it? Do you reject it because you can’t bear it?
Oh Lord! Help me to receive your word meekly. May I not become blind and haughty and unable to bear your words. Keep me humble and hungry for more of you always!