The Pondering Mother

Mary, humble partner in Glory – a penny for your thoughts?

No other character in Scripture can I recall who is identified like you by a life of pondering and treasuring moments in your heart.

Perhaps no one waited in more anticipation for the birth of Jesus than you, Mary.

Any mother knows the waiting and wondering and hoping and praying that accompanies pregnancy.

What will he look like? How big will she be? Will he be fussy? Do I have what it takes to be a mother? Will I be able to handle the pain? What if something goes wrong? What will my child grow to be?

But you knew, Mary, you knew! You knew you carried the Promised One, the Son of God, Emmanuel. Every kick and flutter cried out GOD IS HERE!

But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. Luke 2:19

Mary, you had much to ponder. You knew, but you didn’t fully understand. You trusted, but you didn’t completely comprehend.

In your partnership in glorious events, you teach us unshakable faith. You do not scoff or doubt the words of God’s messenger, though they are unbelievable – a virgin, bear a son? You ask an honest question from a humble heart – how can this be? You receive your answer and are satisfied – nothing is impossible with God. And because you know God, serve God, obey God, you trust God. You take Him at His word.

You, Mary, do not receive the angel Gabriel’s message and react – as most of us women have a tendency to do – but you ponder, consider, and respond.

Your response? LET IT BE (Luke 1:38).

I wonder if you understood the joy mixed with sorrow of this let it be. You magnified God at the privilege to be the vessel by which eternity entered humanity! Indeed, grace upon grace! But did you consider the potential for scorn and shame from friends and family who would see you as a sinful and abhorred woman? Were you aware of your betrothed’s plan to quietly sever your relationship? Did you know that sharing in the glory of God’s plan also meant sharing in the grief of it? Because He was never your son. He was God’s Son.

And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed– and a sword will pierce even your own soul–to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:34&35

When He diminished your relationship to Him as mother (Luke 8:19&20), did that leave scars on your heart? When He never married and gave you grandchildren, did that disappoint? When He left the family business, were you concerned? And when you watched Him beaten and bloodied and ridiculed and nailed to that cross, did you still want to let it be?

Maybe the words of Gabriel came to your mind, the ones that said your Son would be your salvation and the salvation of the whole world. Had something gone terribly wrong in God’s plan?

But you, Mary, of great faith and trust in the beginning, surely you were one of the first to rejoice at the resurrection of Jesus. You knew God made Life from nothing inside of you, so to raise that Life from the dead – nothing is impossible with God.


Father of us all,

Teach us to trust as Mary trusted and therefore be willing to let Your will be in our lives. Help us to ponder first, then respond; not to simply react. May we be receptive to Your plan in our lives – even to the point of enduring pain and shame.

You have proven Yourself faithful to Mary and to countless others. We offer our faithfulness in return.

Amen

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Do We Really Want the King?

Peace and Joy won’t come this Christmas in the form of kids who don’t fight during winter break, a spouse who meets all your needs, a perfectly decorated home, enough money to buy all the things you want, good health, physical comfort, a relaxed schedule, or a good night’s sleep.

True peace and joy will come through the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace.

But do we really want Him?

We celebrate the time when heaven came to earth, when the Word became flesh, when the Prince of Peace was born. We celebrate Christmas because the King of Kings and Lord of Lords bent low to rescue His creation.

But do we really want Him?

Most of us long for peace, joy, love, and hope this season; really, every season. But it all feels so elusive. We navigate broken relationships and broken bodies, deal with disappointment, feel unloved and fail to love others, and have our hopes dashed daily.

Do we really want the King?

We know there is something wrong in this life we live, in this body in which we dwell, in this earth we trod. And so we search and plot and plan: how to feel peace, how to be loved, how to have joy, where to find hope.

But do we really want the Prince of Peace?

Yet, all our searching seems futile. All our carefully followed ‘steps to happiness’ only lead to ultimate frustration and disillusionment. We grope around in a pitch black room, looking desperately for sunlight. We bury our heads, our hearts, our humanity under mounds of quick fixes, if onlys, vanishing hopes, and endless strivings.

Do we really want the Lord of Lords?

Advent means ‘coming.’ Christ came humbly through the womb of Mary over 2000 years ago. But a new¬†advent is on the horizon – when Christ comes mightily with all authority to execute justice and mercy where it is due. When He comes to tangibly do what He has always been doing – reigning as King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Prince of Peace.

Do we really want Him?

We must live NOW like He is King of our hearts – because this is reality. This is practice for what will completely be in the future. We live NOW with all aims and hopes set on the King of Heaven because this is more true than what we daily experience.

Do we really want the King?

That peace, love, joy, and hope we want – the Ruler, Owner, Creator and Bestower of these experiences and truths is the Eternal Father. And He gives liberally to those who partake in His kingdom here and now. We experience these blessings of His kingdom when we submit to His rule, His perspective, His reign in our hearts.When we live according to self-rule, self-perspective, and self-reign, we only receive what we ourselves as ruler have to offer – imperfection, disappointment, and darkness.

Do we really want the Mighty God?

It’s not about our own set of rules and standards. It’s not about our circumstances or ease of life. It’s not about our bank account or beauty. None of these things will bring lasting peace because they are not God. If we hope in anything or anyone other than God it will fail us, because only God is faithful and able to do what He promised. And only God is the source of Peace. Abundance of peace and joy comes to those who “Seek First His kingdom and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33).

Do we really want His kingdom?

Peace and Joy will be yours this Christmas when you “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15). The Peace OF Christ, not the peace of our own design. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27).

Do we really want the King?

His rule may be uncomfortable to a heart that isn’t accustomed to it. His reign may require a complete paradigm shift in your expectations and hopes. His kingdom requires that His people do things His way. But He is a King who already did what we couldn’t; He lived perfectly, died humbly, rose victoriously, and reigns righteously. No other ruler is so loving or mighty. We can trust His rule. We can enjoy His reign. We can experience His Peace, Joy, Love and Hope this Christmas season.