April 10, 2023
CATHERINE CLAIRE LARSON
Lee en español
"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19 (NIV)
I glanced at the clock - 2:15 a.m. For some reason, I couldn't fall back asleep after carefully sliding my 3-month-old from my arms into his bassinet after his night feed.
The lamp gave a warm, soft glow to the room. His cheeks were filling out. His hair was coming in. His little fists were squished up by his face. He was a masterpiece in the middle of my mundane. And on that night, I alone was awake to witness this shooting-star glimpse of the glory of God displayed in a baby, my baby.
That night, I understood some small part of what Mary must have felt. After the details of angelic announcements, Elizabeth's greeting, Jesus' birth and the shepherds' visitation, Scripture gives us these words about Mary's act of treasuring:
"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19).
Certainly, Mary was treasuring the events surrounding Jesus’ birth, the words spoken over Him, and God's providence in every detail of His arrival. But to say that she treasured these things and pondered them is also to say that she treasured Him and pondered Him. She valued Him. She oohed and aahed over Him.
Twice in the biblical account of Jesus' childhood, we read something like the verse above. The second time comes at the end of the tidbits of description we have of Jesus' childhood. Luke records, "Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart" (Luke 2:51, NIV). Jesus' birth and growth as a child have two bookends around them, and they are His mother's treasuring.
And guess what happened in the context of that love? Jesus flourished. He grew in a completely holistic way: "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52, NIV). Treasuring a child prepares this kind of rich soil for the flowering of holistic growth.
While our children will not be perfect (nor will their mothers), like Mary, we will be the first audience to wonder at the miracle of our babies and grandbabies. We also can play an important role as we cradle and carry this knowledge of who they are and who they are becoming as they grow into adulthood. We are the ones who get a front-row seat to see their areas of giftedness and God's shaping hand. And there may come a time when God allows us to speak words of life to them as He launches them into their callings.
For instance, in the story of Jesus' first miracle, at a wedding in Cana, Mary knew when the wine was running out that Jesus was the One who could make it right. She invited Him into the problem, into His ministry. (John 2:1-11) And while God alone could commission Him, know the hour His ministry would begin, and know how it would end, all that treasuring led Mary to know her son was the man for the moment.
May our treasuring lead us to similar moments of wonder.
Lord, help me to see what an important role I have as a treasurer of Your gifts even if I do nothing else today but love. Help me know that my delight in someone's personhood is the fertile soil for their growth. Help me cradle, carry and communicate the wonder of the work You have done in the life of my child, grandchild or mentee, that You might use my treasuring of their life for Your glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
John 2:3-5, "When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.' ‘Woman, why do you involve me?' Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come.' His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.'" (NIV)
Have you ever examined your own spiritual health through the lens of how Jesus grew: spiritually, socially, physically and intellectually? How are you helping your kids grow in these areas? Share with us in the comments!
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