“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19 ESV).
I can’t tell you how many Christmas sermons I’ve heard on this verse. They’ve all been beautiful. All insightful. And all have concentrated on the one word, pondering.
In Mary’s pondering, I imagine her rejoicing in all the miraculous happenings thus far and wanting to dwell in this sweet place of knowing God’s presence, protection and provision. The presence of God she knew from the moment she conceived, His protection that was evident in Joseph’s willingness to take a pregnant woman on as his wife. And God’s provision that clearly played out when Mary and Joseph were able to find a place to deliver the Christ child in the over crowded town of Bethlehem.
So she pondered all this supernatural sweetness in her heart as we all might do.
But what’s more telling is Mary’s example to us in the preceding phrase in the Scripture that doesn’t get talked about a whole lot.
“She treasured up all these things.“
Treasured up, what does that really mean?
For the most accuracy I looked at the word for word Bible translations (meaning, each word is closely translated from the original text) such as the Kings James, ESV (English Standard Version) and the NASV (New American Standard Version) of the Bible.
The Kings James says, “Mary kept all these things … ”
The New American Standard says, “But Mary treasured all these things …”
And of course the ESV uses the phrase, “treasured up … ”
The dictionary definition for treasured is: To put away for security or future use. Store up for later use.
This makes perfect sense to me.
When I have a God encounter, when I know that I know that I know God’s presence, protection and provision are blatantly obvious, I savor that memory. I write it down in detail and replay the sacredness of the moment over and over because I know those hard days will come when I’ll ask, “God are You there?”
I treasure up my God moments so that I may relive them in my desert moments and remember God is faithful.
Maybe it was the same with Mary. She stored up the sweet to counter the bitter that was surely to come.
And it did. At the cross.
So what am I treasuring up this Christmas?
The whole story. The thought of my King and Lord coming as a baby, putting on flesh so that He could die in my place. My resurrected Jesus gets me through every good season and all the difficult ones as well.