[PC-USA] 2000-02-18 - Pondering

(Luke 2:15-19 NRSV) When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us. So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

She "pondered them in her heart." Mary's world had just been turned upside down. But instead of panicking, or being puffed up with pride for being chosen for such an honored position as the Messiah's mother, she took time to ponder what had happened. Later, after discovering Jesus wasn't with them in the caravan, Mary didn't fully grasp why Jesus had remained behind in the temple:

(Luke 2:48-51 NRSV) When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety." He said to them, "Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. When she was confused, again she "treasured all these things in her heart."

What do we do when we don't understand? Sometimes we make assumptions, which can be off-track. We may let walls grow in relationships, walls which grow higher and higher. You probably know of instances where family members or friends have not spoken to each other for over a decade, because of something that took only a few seconds to utter.

I don't know about you, but I need to be more of a "pondering" person. How many times, when we are hurt or angry, do we blurt out our hasty words, only to regret them later? If we pondered things first, we might decide to remain silent, or our words might be more kind. How many times, do we make hasty decisions which are difficult, if not impossible, to rectify?

(James 1:19 NRSV) You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.

The next time you are angry, hurt or confused, do what I plan to start doing: Ponder and pray.

Dear Lord, help us to be more deliberate in our words and actions. May they be less impulsive and more Spirit-led. In Jesus' name amen.