Every year around this time of the year I read my journal entries from the past year. I have kept a journal for many years although what I write and how I write has changed through the years. There are days that I don’t write, other days only a few lines, other entries are longer with more detail. Through all, however, I remember the stirrings of the past year. Often as I read my entries I smile remembering a particularly happy time or situation. Other times there are tears as I remember a particularly sad time. At times I pause and take a deep breath for knowing the outcome in the present is different from not knowing the future when I wrote the entry. The New Year’s reading varies depending on what has taken place through the year. What has been consistent, however, in all the years that I have read my journal around New Year’s day is a sense of wonderment in what has taken place and how God was present through the very “stuff” of life. The “threads” woven throughout the year are treasures for which I am grateful even if the situations were sad or difficult. I marvel at life and God’s presence in the midst of the unfolding of life.
In Luke’s gospel ( 2:41-52) from the Christian scriptures we find Mary of Nazareth wondering, pondering, treasuring her place in the unfolding mystery of life. In this particular passage Jesus became separated from Mary and Joseph following a Passover observance in Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph started their trip home thinking Jesus is with them among their relatives and acquaintances. They discovered to their dismay that he is not with them! Fear and panic set in. They searched frantically and after three days found him in the temple. Why did he stay in Jerusalem? They do not understand his comment about needing to follow his own inner stirrings. Mary treasures in her heart what is taking place and asks God to be with her. She seeks to know how to respond to all that is unfolding within her and around her.
As she treasured the events of the day in her heart, Mary found God present in ways she may not have initially understood when immersed in the situation. Isn’t this true for us as well?
God’s promise to Mary and to us is that the divine spirit is with us. Sometimes, though, we may need to slow down enough to see and realize the treasure. The treasure may be questions, uncertainty, unknowns or the treasure may be threads showing how God is with us in the midst of our ever unfolding journey.
Our invitation is to pause and ponder and embrace the treasure.
Blessings and peace in the New Year.