Each Advent season we receive a devotional booklet in the mail from the president of a college which we support. The cover painting was “The Annunciation.” There are thousands of paintings of the Annunciation: the announcement to Mary that she would bare God’s Son. This painting was different: Mary sits on a rumpled bed; she looks askance at someone outside of the painting. She is quiet, but skeptical; surely, she is pondering.
Luke 2:19 says that Mary, after Jesus’ birth, kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then again in 2:51, after his parents find Jesus in the temple, Mary kept all these things in her heart. Let’s define “ponder:” consider, examine attentively or deliberately, appraise, evaluate, meditate on, brood over, reflect upon. (Merriam-Webster Thesaurus)
We’re always thinking about something. Advent is a time to think more about God’s gift. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As he (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he…” KJV What are we supposed to think about? Whatever is: true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8) “Do these things, and “the peace of God will be with you.” (4:9) We need to make time to ponder, especially now.
Might we hear from God? In a “still small voice,” (1 Kings 9:12) Be still and wait patiently…” (Psalm 37:7a) “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
The idea of “I Ponder as I Wander” obviously came from the song title: “I Wonder as I Wander.” I know we wander. What about wandering and wondering? The shepherds returned and told all the townspeople they met along the way about the new born Christ, and the people wondered, (Luke 2:17-18) Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised when God does miracles. (Acts 3:6, 12) Or (Mark 15:4-5), (Isaiah 53:7), (James 4:3) you don’t receive answers because you ask with wrong motive.
Some of the most moving words upon which to ponder, come from the recent song “Mary, Did I Know.” Mary,… “When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God.”
The mysteries, the miracles, there is much to ponder this season. Be still, be blessed.