She kept pondering these things in her heart

“His mother kept on pondering all these things in her heart…”

The word translated “pondered” in Luke 2:50-52 is fascinating. It is a rare word in the Greek scriptures, and it seems to indicate a very careful and thoughtful guarding—in this case of historical events which are yet to fully reveal their implications. Also, the Greek imperfect tense used here seems to indicate that this was an ongoing, far-from-completed process.

So, we seem to have Mary taking seriously what she sees happening, yet she is honest and humble enough to know that she really cannot sort out the full meaning nor the full trajectory of what God is doing in her life and in the life of her son. I find a lot of comfort in knowing that one of the most faithful people ever to live—Mary—really could not figure out the full meaning and implications of what God was and was not doing during a scary and confusing event.

Perhaps that is one of the most important parts of genuine faithfulness—knowing God is involved, but being humble enough and trusting enough to know that you really don’t see where it is all going, or what it all means. It had to be frustrating to have a 12- or 13-year-old son get lost when they were traveling away from home. It had to be more frustrating to have to desperately look for him for three days. And, it had to be even more frustrating to have him indicate almost no understanding of what he had put his parents through, or why they were so concerned about his safety.

And yet, not only had God been involved in Jesus’ conception and birth, God seemed to somehow genuinely be involved in this event as well! What is a mother to make of such confusing realities? Perhaps “continuing to ponder” is the best she can do. And, perhaps it is often the best we can do, as well, if we are to remain faithful followers of Jesus and “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah” in the real world in which we live—and in which they are very much at work.

As always, if you have any questions or thoughts about this post, or if there is another topic you’d like me to explore in a future post, please leave a comment. I always enjoy your questions and thoughts!

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