Mary's Hidden Treasury

December 16, 2014
by Diane Eaton

Last Christmas, I found myself lingering over one particular verse in Luke's nativity account:

Luke 2:19 – But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. (NIV)

Here I see a pattern which I believe is worth imitating. Interestingly, this verse is situated in the middle of a narrative about the shepherds. It doesn't seem to fit here. I suspect that Luke was trying to underscore the contrast between the shepherds' response and Mary's response to the recent events: While the shepherds exuberantly spread the news, Mary quietly "treasured up all these things". Instead of telling everyone, she stored them in her private treasury of thoughts. She pondered them.

For Luke, this detail was noteworthy. It should also capture our attention. Our private thinking habits do matter. God is delighted when we ponder good things. After all, our hidden inner world influences our outward habits and choices.

At her young age, Mary had already stored up much treasure in her heart — no doubt through the influence of those who shaped her. Consider her song as recorded in Luke 1:46-55. Here we get a glimpse into the treasury of her heart: Mary possessed an acute awareness of God, His covenant purposes, and His hand in history and now in her own life. These realities were fixed deep within her. This was the treasure that forged her faith and gave her a positive outlook. It ruled Mary's life. This is where she was centred when the outside world would try to invade her with uncertainties, criticisms, and threats — never mind the everyday urgencies and distractions. Mary did not need to escape from the real world; she possessed the means for living effectively in the real world. On the inside, she was rich, even though she was poor in worldly wealth.

Mary inspires us to reflect on our own private habits of thinking and remembering. Do we value true treasure and seek it with all our hearts? Do we allow ourselves to focus our attention on it? Have we been in the habit of storing up good spiritual treasure? Or is our inner world impoverished? Do we tend to deflect the spiritual treasures from God as they come, and instead revert to our habits of shallow and non-productive thinking, as was true for many of God's people in Mary's day?

Are we stuck in a habit of ruminating over thoughts which erode our tranquility and our restful trust? Is our inner world in disarray? If so, we will find ourselves constantly reacting to the world around us — like tumbleweed in the wind. Conversely, a well-ordered, rich treasury of truth, knowledge, and memory will help us to navigate calmly through life, regardless of what disturbances befall us.

Any treasures that we accumulate for our outer existence can become lost to us. On the other hand, what has been stored within us cannot be taken away. No one can rob our hidden treasury — if we have learned to value it and care for it.

Prayer: May the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to You, O Lord. May our hidden treasury become like Mary's — filled with a resolute awareness of You and Your magnificent, covenant love, both in the historical past and now in our own lives. Empower us by Your Spirit to treasure and ponder the things which produce in us fruitful, joyous living. Amen.

About the author:

Diane Eaton <d.eaton@bmts.com>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Diane for a good word. Have a great Christmas.


    Just what I needed as I rush about at this time of year especially.


    Thank you for a devotion to “treasure”.
    (Ireland)


    Thank you for reminding us that Mary is our perfect role model.
    (Ontario)


    I always enjoy your writings — always give us something to think about.
    Thank you.


    Thanks very much, Dianne, for the insightful devotion today. This mindfulness is something I am learning to cultivate late in life. Better late than never! God is gracious.


    Dear Diane,
    I appreciated this devotional very much.
    Keep writing for Jesus sake.
    Amen.


    Thank you Diane – this is great.
    Our Lady is always like a mother teaching her children on the love of God.
    God bless & Merry Christmas,
    (Texas)


    Good-morning Diane:
    Thank you for your thoughts on Mary’s treasury. I’ve never thought about her in this way.
    This Christmas season, your meditation is the second gift of revelation that came to me through sermon and prayer. It’s amazing how we can hear the Word over and over again and find something that we’ve never pondered before.
    I’m struggling with some personal challenges of my own. Reading your meditation has been like looking into a spiritual mirror for me and getting a clearer picture.
    God bless you and your family with a Merry Christmas and the best of everything for the coming year.


    Dear Diane;
    What a wonderful thought-inspiring devotional. Amen to your prayer. May you have a wonderful and joyous Christmas celebration with your family and friends and a healthy and happy New Year.

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