Thursday, December 09, 2010

Christmas Reflections, Part 3

We have hundreds of cable television stations, thousands of songs on our iPod, scores of friends to text, tweet or talk with on Facebook. Our calendar has no margin and we don’t have enough time to get from one experience to the next. During this season of shopping, partying, and traveling many of us will reach a tipping point where we’ll crash or implode.

The idea of slowly thinking about something or pondering is a foreign concept to us.

Yet a key observation and takeaway from the Christmas story is how Mary interacts with God and the activity of God. This inexperienced teenage girl whom God favors and ordains to be the mother of Jesus captures and fully engages it all by pondering.

When the angel Gabriel visited Mary and announced that she would become pregnant with the Son of God, Luke 1:29 said that Mary was perplexed at the announcement and pondered his words.

Are you ever perplexed by what the Bible says or by what you sense in your prayers?

When the shepherds visited Joseph, Mary and the newborn Jesus, they told of hearing an angelic announcement that the Savior had been born and that Jesus was that Savior. Again, in response, Luke 2:19 said that Mary both treasured and pondered these words that the shepherds spoke.

Do you ever see or experience God do something in you or around you?

Mary’s example models for us the act of pondering where we think about something over and over again. Mary did so in the moment and I believe that she did throughout the years of her life.

Fast forward to the end of Jesus’ life when He is brutally tortured and crucified. Mary witnesses these atrocities committed against her son whom she has seen live a blameless life. How does Mary not herself die of a crushed heart? How does she not become angry with God for not intervening and sparing Jesus?

I submit that the ponderings from her teenage years served to establish her heart to trust God and have insight into the work of God so that she was empowered to persevere through the greatest tragedy she had ever experienced.

Philippians 4:8 is an exhortation to you and me to ponder. Will you take time and ponder--

If you don’t know what these rich theological words mean consult a Bible dictionary and ponder away.

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