Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mary Knows II: The Advent

"Do not let the things you don't know
cloud what you have already attained."
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
Luke 2:15-19


This is a 4-part study on Mary's reaction to the wonder of The Incarnation. Mary is a singularly unique character in scripture. She was chosen to be the carrier of Emmanuel—God with us. While others have been given special endowment to conceive and give birth, only Mary carried God. Her reaction to the situation she finds herself in is fascinating.

The Advent

It is done! The mystery has been revealed. Emmanuel truly is with us now. The foretold birth of Jesus has finally come to fruition. Angels announced his coming. Shepherds have come to visit a savior, calling him "Christ" and "Lord." Those things that Gabriel announced to Mary in private are now being fulfilled in public spaces. What is Mary's reaction?

All who heard wondered. I imagine Mary wondered as well. Was she in a state of shock? Was she left speechless? Did she tell anybody about her experience with the angel Gabriel? She surely didn't run out to the countryside and inform a bunch of shepherds. All this was validation of the angel's tidings&mdashit was proof! He did not lie. These things happened.

But how can these things be? Mary clearly saw that these things are so, but how can it be so? She is still pondering these truths in her heart. But she does not know the mechanics of how these things are so. How does she raise the son of God? What is life going to be like with God sharing the same roof with her? She sees in the flesh The Entity that her people have worshipped since Abraham. How can it be?

Notice that she still does not have the answers. One does not "wonder" at and "ponder" an occurrence while understanding it fully. One is left awestruck at things that are greater than they can comprehend. This is Mary at The Advent, the physical coming of God into his world. This should also be our reaction to The Advent—humble, grateful, awe.

Notice Mary's third reaction: she treasured all these things. Just because certain elements were beyond her comprehension, she was still appreciative. She was still grateful. She could still treasure the truth that has been revealed to her while stretching to grasp greater understanding.


Are you discouraged with the things you do not know? Then be content with the things you do understand. Revel in the joy of what God has revealed to you. Treasure it. Place it in a safe place. Return to it when you need encouragement. Return to it when you have doubt. Return to it when expanding your knowledge base. Do not let the things you don't know cloud what you have already attained.

The converse is also true. Don't be so content with your current knowledge base that you do not try to expand your understanding. Mary continued to ponder even while treasuring the things she had. Let us also keep a right balance between striving for progress and protecting that which we know. These two elements are not mutually exclusive, rather, they should coordinate with each other as we run the race of our spiritual lives.
Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

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