“When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made know to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 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 2:15-19 ESV (emphasis added)
Theses verses continue to ring in my heart even after Christmas has passed. The birth of God himself; the manger scene; the angels appearing to lowly shepherds. It’s all too good to only focus on during the Christmas scene. Mary’s heart as a mother strikes me here, especially the last sentence, “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart”. What does Luke mean when he uses the term “treasured up“? What is Mary pondering in her heart; what things is she thinking on?
I think back to the birth of my first child. I only had the brain space to ponder the next diaper change; correct burping form; and when sleeping may be possible again. Mary was called to raise the Savior of the world! There is more going on here than new mom gitters. Mary is soaking in, paying attention to every detail of all that is unfolding before her.
To find out exactly what Mary is paying attention to, let’s jump back in scripture. The shepherds came to see for themselves the birth of Christ. When they arrive, they share with Mary the sight of the angel and his words. And she treasured THESE things, pondering THESE things in her heart. Mary is storing the truth about her newborn son in her memory. He is the Savior she and an entire nation have been waiting for.
“Treasured up” translates from the word “syntereo”; meaning to preserve (a thing from perishing or being lost); to keep within one’s self, keep in mind (a thing, lest it be forgotten). Mary will need to have these memories, these truths if you will, in a place where she can quickly recall them once the time comes for Jesus to do what he came to do: To save all people through death on the cross. In the last days of his life she will need to remember the angel’s announcement and the shepherd’s excitement as he is arrested, beaten, mocked, stripped, and humiliated. When she wants to step in and wrap her arms around him out of protection and motherly instinct, she’ll need to recall why he came. As she watches him take his final breath on the cross and commit his spirit to God, she’ll need those treasures in flooding abundance. Mary treasures up who she knows Jesus to be to help remind her that He came to save her.
What are the moments with Jesus you need to treasure up? Those spiritual markers that, when you look back, remind you of His plan and sovereignty. Are you storing these things up in your heart or letting them fall like seed on dry ground? As a mother, I can be certain Mary needed to remind herself of who Jesus was in order to get her through his horrific death. He was her son and she watched as he saved the world. I can also be certain God gives us moments where we can see him clearly as a way for us to recall his faithfulness when in the darkest times.
If you are lost or in the midst of pain, I pray for God open your eyes to his presence. I pray for a moment when shepherds will come to you, announcing good news of great joy- that Jesus has come. As we move into a new year, let’s treasure the things ahead.
Father, I thank you for Mary and her obedience and love for you. I am thankful for her submitted life to you and that it can be an example of what surrender looks like. God I ask that begin to store and treasure all the encounters we have with Jesus. Moments of kindness, generosity, humility, and goodness that come our way- Lord, don’t let us miss them! Help us to see you and remember your faithfulness. We can be certain that if you have been faithful even once, that you will be faithful again and again. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Today’s post was written by Ashley Gregory, who is a contributor to the Deeper Still Devotional Blog. Ashley lives in Mt. Sterling, Illinois and is married to Mark. They have 3 children and she serves on the Central Illinois Deeper Still team.
Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find a retreat close to you.