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And His Mother Kept All These Words in Her Heart

And His Mother Kept All These Words in Her Heart

Lack of understanding separates people all over the earth.  It causes barriers between individuals, groups, and peoples.  Wherever we go, everywhere on earth we see the tangible results of these invisible hurdles.  Lack of mutual understanding can escalate so badly that people exclude each other or threaten each other’s lives.  Each of us, whether we want to or not, forms part of the collective confusion of thinking that shuts out those who have different ideas.  Before we know it, we are involved in a conflict by spouting a judgment or taking sides.

How will these separate worlds ever come together again?  How can we ever understand what the other actually wants to say when we are always kept apart from each other by walls, words, judgments, and prejudices?  Most people take the easy way: they turn away from their opponents as if they don’t exist anymore.  However, sooner or later the confrontation will begin again.

Perhaps we have to look for a different place to put the words and ideas we don’t understand—somewhere beyond our lack of understanding.  The gospel shows a way to find such a place for all we don’t understand.  When the child Jesus, after having disappeared without a trace, returned to his parents after three days, he spoke words no one understood: “Why did you look for me?  Don’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Lk.2:49) The gospel has an extraordinary expression for the way His mother received these enigmatic words: “His mother kept all these words in her heart.” (Lk.2:51)

No more than this and no less than this is needed to create a space for all that we do not understand—even for the injustice that happens in the world.  Bear it with patience.  Take it into your heart.  Sooner or later life itself will give an answer to the riddle you were given.

–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, January 17, 2021

 

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