Treasuring and Pondering

Treasuring and Pondering
The Naming and Circumcision of Jesus; Luke 2:15-21
“But Mary treasured all these things
and pondered them in her heart.”
She knew that’s how the Spirit flames
from sacred truth.

Does the Spirit guide the wary mind
assigning scholarly ticks 
to what might be historical?
Isn’t that a form of arrogance,
an excuse for many footnotes
making display of learning?

Does the Spirit demand certainty
that every scriptural word
reports the literal facts?
Isn’t that a form of idolatry,
trying to make mystery, 
poetry and transcendence
into material representations?

Jesus was born of Mary,
and people were drawn to see him,
but there’s no birth story 
in John’s gospel or Mark’s,
and Luke’s and Matthew’s differ.
Are their nativity stories not true,
or are they sacred truth
treasured and pondered?

Matthew tells of wise men from the East,
and then the family’s flight to Egypt.
Luke speaks of shepherds from the hills,
and shows us Jesus the devout Jew,
initiated from birth 
by rites required by sacred law.

Perhaps Matthew pondered in his heart,
and the treasure the Spirit showed him
was Jesus as universal Wisdom,
recognized by foreign astrologers,
persecuted by a jealous king,
forced into exile in Egypt,
like Joseph in Genesis,
sold by jealous brothers.

Luke also treasured and pondered,
saw Jesus as the fulfilment
of Hebrew Scripture,
born in the city of David,
welcomed by shepherds,
named by angel messenger,
circumcised according to the law,
presented in the temple 
and greeted by prophets.

I wonder what dimensions
of sacred truth were shown to Mary
as she treasured all these things
and pondered them in her heart?
	Barbara Messner 28/12/2022

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