But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19 TNIV).
But his mother treasured all these things in her heart (Luke 2:51).
We are fascinated by stories of hidden treasure. Many of the blockbuster movies over the last several decades have revolved around this theme — the Indiana Jones movies, The Mummy movies, and more recently the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and the National Treasure series.
As kids, we were fascinated with finding old things with drawers, doors, and compartments. We would examine them very carefully like Indiana Jones, hoping to find some secret drawer or hidden space where there might be a secret treasure! As older adults, we have to admit we, too, check old objects and old places for such secret spaces. Tens of thousands waste money on lottery tickets hoping to find their treasure in a special set of lucky numbers. Others paste in stamps for the latest giveaway scheme to get us to buy magazines. We hope to find the secret, hidden, or unexpected treasures.
This allure of treasure speaks to some primal place in our hearts about finding something incredibly valuable. So when Luke twice records that Mary treasured the wonder of Jesus' birth in her heart (Luke 2:19; Luke 2:51), something resonates deep inside of us. We understand. Our heart skips a beat. We marvel when Luke tells us that Mary intentionally treasured these moments and hid them away in her heart. This routine sounds so true to our world and to our experience!
The mystery, the wonder, the bewilderment, the delight, the fear, and the struggle as a new mom to God's Son were secreted in this hiding place of Mary's heart. She apparently opened this hidden treasure for Luke as he carefully researched the story of Jesus before publishing the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:1-4). The first two chapters in Luke have traditionally come from Mary. All the little nuances and special touches of emotion we feel behind the words suggest this is true.
Mary's testimony to the beloved physician, Luke, has the feel of authenticity. Her memories, recorded by Luke at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, are nudges to us. These promptings invite us into the basic humanity and simple richness of this familiar and sometimes over-sentimentalized story. Mary allows us to enter a mystery beyond our comprehension. Yet Luke tells this story so simply that we know in our hearts that it is true.
So in the hurry of our season, the rush of travel, the frantic preparation for guests, the busy preparation of food, the mad dash back to the mall for a last minute gift, the dread of re-awakened family conflicts, and the stress of relationships, let's not:
- Sweat the small stuff!
- Miss the tender moments of grace God has provided for us!
- Lose the opportunity to lock away treasures in our own hearts!
Let's celebrate that true treasures are ours because of Jesus.
Special thanks to The Lumo Project and Free Bible Images for the use of these images.
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