The fourth week of Advent is traditionally a time to consider the Virgin Mary, Jesus’ mother, so today we are thinking about storing treasure in our hearts, just as she did.

Philippians 4:8–9

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

 

During a translation workshop in Cameroon, the team of translators were looking at Luke 2:19, in which the writer says of the amazing events that led to the shepherds coming to see Jesus, ‘But Mary stored up all these things and pondered them in her heart.’

The generally accepted meaning is that Mary treasured certain things in her heart; she remembered them and kept them in her heart and memory. But for the local-language speakers attending the workshop, the idea of storing something in one’s heart carried a different meaning – holding a grudge.

For the translators, the challenge was to find a natural way to express what exactly Mary was storing in her heart. This is a common problem for translation teams around the world, seeking to understand Scripture correctly before communicating it clearly for their communities, so pray that God will give them wisdom to address this challenge.

With only three days until Christmas, what’s on your mind? Food, presents, whether or not you have enough towels for all the guests?

Take some time to hold the treasure of Christ’s coming in your mind and ponder it in your heart. What does it mean to you? What difference has knowing Jesus made in your life?

 

Praise God that he is the greatest treasure, and for giving himself to us.

Pray that he will help you fix your eyes on him throughout the next week, however busy it might be, and give you his peace.

Pray for those translating the Bible around the world, that God will help them to understand the Scriptures in order to communicate this great treasure with those around them.