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December 22 – Mary ponders the incarnation

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

Scripture reading: Luke 2:8-21

Even though Mary was young and might be expected to be immature, she shows a spiritual maturity beyond her years. She pondered the incarnation of the Son of God. She was a meditative young lady. Dr. Luke presents a contrast between her response to the wonder of Christmas and that of the shepherds and the people of Bethlehem. The adversative “but” communicates the contrast: “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

The shepherds were excited and noisy. But Mary is quiet. She reflects. The people of Bethlehem had their ears tickled by the incredible story that the shepherds told. We are not told that any of the other citizens of Bethlehem searched out the cattle stall. But Mary mulled over what the Angel Gabriel told her, what the shepherds said about the appearance of glorious angels, and the marvel that she, a virgin, had given birth to the Son of the Highest.

Mary needed to ponder these matters because she lacked understanding. Her situation was one of faith seeking understanding. She believed what God had revealed about her baby boy, but she still lacked full comprehension.

Therefore, Mary guarded her memories like precious treasures. John Calvin says that Dr. Luke recorded Mary’s pondering “to afford to all the godly an example for imitation. For, if we are wise, it [pondering] will be the chief employment, and the great object of our life.” As we ponder, we too can gain fresh insights into the mystery of salvation.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you would love to meditate on what the gospel accounts reveal about Jesus Christ. Ask God to give you a thirst for His Word so that you would meditate on it day and night.

Rev. Nathan Brummel is Professor of Systematic Theology and New Testament at Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary, and an associate pastor at Immanuel United Reformed Church in DeMotte, Indiana. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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Ponoka: April 22 at 7:30 pm at Parkland Reformed Church

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