Mary's 'memory bank' Luke 2:19-21
Not only are we told that Mary 'treasured' all she had experienced, we are also told she 'pondered' them as well; that is she filled her memory bank, recalled details and reflected deeply on all that had happened (vs 19). These are instructive words for disciples of Jesus today because they demonstrate the serious and beneficial place of deep 'spirit-led' reflection on what we see and experience. In my first year as a student nurse (back last century!) an IV pole on three wheel support was broken; one wheel kept falling out as it was lifted. We had two poles on the ward and being one down was hampering our capacity to effectively care for patients. I submitted a maintenance requisition to Nursing Admin because the supervisor needed to verify that the equipment was indeed in need of repair - and a week went bye and still no repair. So I got some simple tools, dismantled the wheel housing area and undertook a simple repair and got it back into use. That very shift, the Nurse supervisor entered the ward; she was over 6 feet tall, and had a rather deep, intimidating voice and was (un)affectionately known as 'Learch' (a character from the 'Munsters') because we were all intimidated by her. She screamed down the corridor "Where's the broken IV pole, maintenance want the broken IV pole!" The charge nurse looked at me and simply said "you're dead Drew." I took the IV pole to her and said I had fixed it because we needed it. "You what?" she bellowed and I said "We needed it so I thought that ..." Cutting me off she responded, "You thought, you thought did you - student nurses dont "think" nurse Mellor, you just do what you're told." She put her foot on the IV pole wheel and pulled hard in order to prove it was still broken "See, its still broken" as she tugged and tugged, and when it wouldn't dislodge, she hurled it down the corridor "Its broken I say - and you, don't you ever think again, just do what you are told".
The example of 'Learch' is not one to follow, but Mary's example is a great one for disciples today. She not only stored up the memories, and recalled the detail, and reflected deeply but she also acted appropriately and boldly. We are told in verse 21 that on the eight day the baby "was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived". Mary and Joseph together, give him the name Jesus, because both were told to do so (Luke 1:31 and Matthew 1:21). Their deep reflection on what had happened issued in action, even though the action of naming the child would usually result in the giving of a traditional family name. Names in some cultures carry significant meaning, much more than simply people liking the sound of the name. The giving of a name that means "rescuer" or "saviour" would have sounded very pretentious to most onlookers and family, but it was appropriate given the things that Mary had experienced, pondered and reflected on. Here, at the onset of the incarnation of the second person of the tri-une God, the stage is set for God's great rescue plan and the start of His Kingly rule. We will see the rescue plan unfold throughout this gospel account, as Jesus teaches on the Kingdom and invites the disciples to pray that God's Kingdom will come, on earth, as it is in heaven, and this same themes continues into volume two (Acts of the Apostles) as God's Kingdom comes is dramatically demonstrated through the Spirit empowered activity of the early church. Take a few moments to reflect on what you have seen and heard, what you have experienced of God, this past year; and having pondered these things, take action to help others appreciate the love and mercy and power and grace of God as together, we herald the coming of the messiah, the promised one, the central figure in God's redemptive plan for his creation.