Love Came Down: Treasure and Ponder
After Jesus was born Mary must have felt an extraordinary mixture of joy and wonder, but perhaps some sense of anxiety at the awesome responsibility God had given her. I imagine she was emotionally and physically exhausted!
Her response was that she 'treasured up these things and pondered them in her heart' (Luke 2:19), dwelling deeply on the truth of what had happened.
We too have so much to treasure and ponder: the amazing events of Jesus' birth, his life, death and wonderful resurrection, God living in us by his Spirit, making it possible for us to live a life of freedom, joy and hope in relationship with him and as part of the community of the church.
One of the things that the Lord has been teaching me this year is how to treasure and ponder his truths, and he has done this in an unexpected way. At the start of the year, I had a strong sense of wanting to read some of my favourite verses from Lamentations every day through January (Lamentations 3: 22-3) as a good way to start the year. I loved doing this, and then found that in February I wanted to do the same but with the verses of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10). And so it has gone on through the year. I've never done this before, but this year I have felt led to read the same passage of the Bible every day for a month at a time - and it has been so helpful and exciting as I have felt those words going deeper into my heart as a result.
Over 2016, I've found myself treasuring and pondering the Lord's Prayer, Psalm 23, the parable of the Prodigal Son, and Joshua chapter 1, amongst other passages - each for a month at a time.
This is just one of many ways to read God's word, and to treasure and ponder his truths more deeply. If you haven't tried it, you might like to, perhaps by reading 1 John 4:9 every day in the run up to Christmas:
"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him."
As we approach this Christmas time, find the joy of digging deep into God’s wonderful word to treasure up and ponder his truth in your heart. Happy Christmas!
Margaret is wife to Ian, mum of two lovely grown up children and mum-in-law to two lovely children-in-law. She teaches at a school in Cambridge.