December 27, 2017

Pondering Mary

Luke 2:15-20

Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

—  Luke 2:19

What did Mary ponder? Did she pinch herself, trying to grasp the truth that lying in front of her in a manger was the Son of God himself, the promised Messiah?

Did she wonder how God could also be a real human baby boy? A baby that needed cuddling and attentive care?

Mary surely realized that she was in the presence of a miracle. Thinking about what the shepherds had said, she probably thought back to the day nine months earlier when she too was visited by an angel. On that day she learned that she, a virgin, would become pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that the child in her womb would be the very Son of God.

Almighty God, who is beyond space and time, chose to empty himself and to take on human flesh. Out of his great love for you and me, he came as a baby born to this mother that night in Bethlehem. There in the manger lay our Savior, who would surrender his own life for your sake and mine.  The one whom Mary held and nursed, who could not even hold up his head and would need his diaper changed, was God in the flesh come to make us whole.

One day this very real human being would choose to give his very real body over to be crucified. And Mary would be there to ponder that too.

Will you ponder these things with Mary?

Child of Bethlehem, we are in awe at the miracle of your birth. Thank you for living among us, as one of us. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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