"Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19
The dictionary defines "ponder" as considering carefully; also meditating or reflecting upon. Walk around in the world of Mary’s story for a few minutes. What might her thoughts might have been in the weeks, months, years following the birth of Christ?
Surely she remembered details of those events—an angel’s glory, the sleepy cry of her tiny son, the awe in the eyes of the oldest shepherd, the shy helpfulness of the inn’s youngest maid, the fragrance of frankincense and myrrh, the weight of gold.
Surely she reflected upon the angels’ words—"a son"; "peace on earth". What was the significance of these words? What meaning did they hold for present and future? For her and her family? For her nation?
Surely she wondered—what ever became of the shepherds and how had this experience changed their lives? Did the wise men complete their journey safely?
And she wondered about her son—what would life be like for him? What did the future hold? How could she and Joseph best help fulfill the angel’s promise?
Mary had all kinds of things to remember, to wonder about and to ponder. We, too, in our quiet time, our time apart, need to ponder. It’s not enough to just read the scripture story, the meditation and prayer in the Upper Room or other guide. It’s not enough to just know what happened—"the facts".
We have to be involved with the story, use our marvelous gift of imagination to walk around in its world, to explore how it might have been. For these were real people and the recorded story leaves out so much.
There is so much more to be learned about the significance and meaning of the story when we "ponder." Somehow in this kind of thinking, the Holy Spirit is able to speak to us in special ways, to give us the understandings we need at that very moment.
To "ponder" is to go beyond the facts to catch a vision of what was, what is, and what could be.
Read Proverbs 29:19a.