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Paying Ongoing Attention . . .

Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. - Luke 2:19

On the 7th day of Christmas and in the final hours of this year, I find myself in a pondering space. And I invite you to join me, with the mother of Jesus as our guide. The fact that Mary treasured – preserved, kept safe, kept close – the words that she heard I “get,” to be sure. What draws me is Mary’s pondering.

This pondering means, literally, “throw together,” as in discuss, consider, consult, meet with . . . even dispute with. The image that emerges is a sense of turning over and over and over . . . paying ongoing attention . . . savoring and wrestling all in one. Hopes and fears, knowing and unknowing, faith with doubt, wonder and wondering . . . all tossed together, and around, in Mary’s heart, soul, and mind.

Which brings me – us -- to this day; this threshold; this liminal space between one year and the next. 2017 has given us much to ponder. There are moments to treasure . . . may we always preserve them and keep them close. And there are realities and words that call our hearts to deep attention and much wrestling. Beloved companion on the way, let us learn from Mary: This treasuring and pondering is absolutely essential to the journey. Consider this woman and all that she had encountered and would yet experience . . . The way forward – and the necessary strength for the journey – is discerned in the pondering. Please, for the sake of Christ and the world God so loves, let us not miss or neglect this interior work.

May God bless and guide each of us across this threshold and into the year before us. And may the Spirit direct us - individually and together - to the fulfilling of God’s purpose this day and each day to come. Amen.

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