"But Mary treasured up all these things and
pondered them in her heart."
".... But his mother treasured all these things in her heart."
On this Mother's Day, it is only fitting to take a look at Mary, the mother of Jesus, and how she is symbolic of the love and protection we have all received from our mothers. The first passage of Scripture was written at the time of Jesus' birth. The shepherds in the fields had been visited by a "great company of the heavenly host", who with the Angel of the Lord, had praised the birth of the Savior of the nation of Israel, and indeed, of the world. They crowded into the stable and found the baby lying in a manger.
Scripture says they then spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard were amazed. "And Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
The second Scripture I've listed occurs when Joseph takes his family to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of the Passover. Young Jesus is 12 years-old and stays behind, to sit among the teachers in the Temple; to learn and to question them. Understandably, his mother is distressed, and asks him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."
Jesus answers, "Why were you searching for me? Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?"
Scripture tells us they didn't understand what he was saying to them, but he nevertheless was obedient to them and returned to their home in Nazareth. But we are further told that "his mother treasured all these things in her heart."
I am so moved by the emotions Mary must have had for her child. I can't imagine her feelings after being visited by the Angel Gabriel and being hold that she was highly favored by God; that her child would be Son of the Most High. What a responsibility she must have felt!
And so I imagine it is with every mother who gives birth. Every mother has such high hopes for her child; she treasures all the possibilities and hopes that have been placed on this tiny human being. Mary cherished and held dear all that the Shepherds said about her child; and she pondered, or reflected on, what the Angel had revealed to them.
I wonder what my own mother "treasured" at my birth. Did she have any perception or insight as to where my life's journey would take me? Like, Mary, she devoted herself to growing me and strengthening me; loving me with all she had to give. She sacrificed for me and my siblings, always putting us first and making sure we knew "Jesus loved us." I was different from her, in both temperament and personality. I'm sure she "pondered", or more likely puzzled over what I would become.
And I KNOW she could identify with Mary in the later verses, when the mother of our Lord asked Jesus "Why have you treated us like this?" I was somewhat rebellious; a risk-taker and she often could not identify with my adventurous nature. I moved 800 miles away to go to college, seeking my path, and she must have felt like Mary, when Jesus left the safety of his home to be about his Father's business. Worry, skepticism, anxiety, concern; these are all reactions I'm sure she shared with Mary. And as I grew in maturity and settled into the will of God for my life, she "treasured" all these things in her heart; appreciating, respecting, and prizing my accomplishments.
My mother has gone to be with the Lord, and I know she wears a crown of righteousness, and has been rewarded for her faithfulness to her God and her role as mother. It was a role she revered, and it was the work of her life here on earth. Just as she treasured me, I treasure her memory; her love; and her service to her Lord.