The word holy has a bad reputation today. A holy-roller is “holier-than-thou.” Holy is placed before any and all exclamations: Holy cow! Holy smoke! Holy malarkey!
Yet in the Bible, we come to know a holy God. Peter said, “as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet. 1:15, HCSB).
The English origin of our word holy is “whole.” To be “whole” is to be complete or mature. Can we aspire to be wholly whole, or wholly holy? This week let’s determine ways to be wholly holy in dependence, character, thoughts, speech, and actions.
Mary pondered all these things in her heart.
Luke 2:19, 51
Both occurrences followed amazing, wondrous events—certainly worthy of intense scrutiny. In Luke 2:19, following Jesus’ birth, Mary pondered the visit of the shepherds— God’s way of assuring her that this baby conceived by the Holy Spirit was indeed His Son, the promised Messiah. After all, angelic beings had made the announcement. Then, in Luke 2:51, after Jesus had astonished the temple rabbis at age 12, Mary pondered once more her eyewitness seat to history.
But why did Luke record that Mary pondered—not once, but twice? Seemingly, he wanted us to know Mary was a deep thinker, one who sought to discern the ways of God. If we didn’t know this about Mary, we might think she was on autopilot when she accepted the angel’s revelation about the miraculous birth. No, she asked questions and considered the implications. Read Luke 1:34-38.
Afterward, she journeyed to visit Elizabeth and sought counsel. She had many months to consider the approaching birth of Jesus. I’m certain she often pondered the angel’s message, Joseph’s reaction, the townspeople’s gossip, and her engagement.
I feel sure Mary continued to ponder throughout His earthly ministry and as she stood before the cross and the empty tomb. A lifetime would not have been long enough to search out the meaning of all she had seen and heard.
So, may I ask? Have you pondered recently? The reason I ask is that pondering is very time-consuming. It’s not a quick process or even an intriguing thought. Pondering takes contemplation. And who has time for that anymore?
Note to self: Pondering God’s wonders can happen over my kitchen sink, as I walk my dog, while I’m sitting in traffic, or during any other “free space” during the day.
Ask God to help you ponder the thoughts He wants you to dwell on today.
Seeking to be wholly holy,
Photo credit: Andres Rodriguez | Dreamstime Stock Photos