by Cathy Ballantine
Ponder: verb: think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.
“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart”.
A tiny verse, tucked into the story of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2. Mary, a new mother, a young teen, had a lot to think about. Her life had changed dramatically 9 months previously, when she was visited by an angel who told her she was to conceive a child by the Holy Spirit and the child would be called the son of God. She seems pretty calm as she accepted the news and said "let it be to me as according to your word". I’m not sure I would have been quite so believing of the event.
Mary had a lot of things to ponder. She had no idea exactly what was unfolding, the impact this child would have on the world. Shepherds turning up to see the new baby, with a story about a sky full of heavenly hosts praising God? A man and lady in the temple, rejoicing as the babe they had been waiting for, as promised by God that they would see this special child. Both Mary and Joseph marvelled at the words spoken of the child in their care.
A child who grew up and was “lost” for 3 days in Jerusalem, after he didn’t join their group returning to Bethlehem and was found in the temple, speaking with the teachers. Teachers who were amazed his knowledge of the word.
A young man who began a ministry – preaching, healing people, performed miracles.
A young man who became the target of his enemies and was betrayed, tried, whipped and nailed to a cross.
A young man who was buried and came back to life 3 days later.
All her pondering from the day he was born would have made sense on the day he died and the day he was resurrected. The purpose of the birth, the child she loved and raised, was now clear. Not her son, but God’s. God’s promise fulfilled.
Cathy Ballantine has been a part of the Qld Baptist Women's Team since 2010. She works part time as State Administrator and Uniform Shop Manager for The Boys’ Brigade Qld and has a home based Admin business. Cathy is married to Matt and they have 4 children - Declan, Brenna, Jacob and Megan. They have been a part of Salisbury Baptist Church since 1999.
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