- Rhonda Kelley
Ponder Like Mary
I have always loved the word “ponder” though I do not ponder well. When I was running for cheerleader in high school many years ago, my dad was preaching in an evangelistic crusade with special guest Wally Fowler, a well-known country musician at that time. Dad asked him to write and record a campaign song for me. The word “ponder” took on new significance in my life when I heard: “Don’t ponder, vote Rhonder, she’s the girl for you!” Oh my! I did win the election and loved being a cheerleader.
What does the word “ponder” actually mean? The dictionary defines this intriguing word with these meanings: “think about, to weigh in the mind, to consider seriously.” I have a lot of energy and stay busy with activity with little spare time for sitting down to consider matters seriously. Sounds like I need to ponder more!
Luke 2:19 is one of my favorite Bible verses: “But Mary kept all these things and
PONDERED them in her heart.” I wonder, what were the things that Mary the Mother of Jesus pondered? What were the things that she carefully considered?
Four significant events occurred and impacted the life of Mary just prior to this focal verse, causing her to ponder them. Let’s take a few minutes to ponder these things.
The Announcement by the Angel (Luke 1:26-37) – The Angel Gabriel appeared to young Mary telling her that she had been chosen by God to give birth to Jesus the Messiah, the Savior of the world. What a personal and profound announcement! Mary heard the angel, considered what he said, asked questions (how can this be?), and was assured “that with God, nothing is impossible” (v. 37). What a powerful promise concluding the amazing announcement. Has God ever spoken to you when you least expected it and called you to do something seemingly impossible? When God makes an announcement to you, PONDER and PRAY like Mary!
The Response of Mary (Luke 1:38-56) – Then Mary responded to the angel with a simple but profound statement of faith: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to you word” (v. 38). Later, Mary responded in a song known as The Magnificat: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (vv. 46-47). Mary responded “yes” to God and obeyed. She accepted His perfect plan for her life and followed in obedience. How have you responded when God has called you to do the seemingly impossible? When you respond to God, PONDER and OBEY like Mary!
The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:1-7) – In Israel during the first century, Caesar Augustus imposed a tax on all people. Joseph took Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register his family. As prophesied in the Old Testament, Jesus was born there: “So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (vv. 6-7). Mary gave birth to Jesus miraculously. He was born in a stable and wrapped in a simple blanket, a humble beginning for our Lord and King. Have you ever witnessed a miracle of the Lord? When God performs a miracle, PONDER and GLORIFY Him like Mary.
The Proclamation to the Shepherds (Luke 2:8-20) – The Angel Gabriel appeared to the shepherds watching their sheep in the fields and said: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (vv.10-11). Then the angel with a heavenly host praised God saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (v. 14). The shepherds went to Bethlehem and saw Jesus in a manger. They glorified God and told others about the angel’s revelation to them. Has anyone ever shared with you God’s revelation to them? When a revelation of God is shared with you by others, PONDER and PRAISE like Mary.
I want to PONDER like Mary! She pondered things about Jesus. Luke 2:18 says that the people “marveled at those things they had heard.” They had a WOW moment. Those people marveled for a moment. Luke 2:19 says: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Mary pondered for a lifetime. Let’s ponder the things about Jesus for a lifetime!!!