“Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).
The truths of Christ are worth keeping; and the way to keep them safe is to ponder them. Meditation is the best help to memory. The truth will never disclose its inmost sweetness to us, nor take such a solid grip of our hearts so as to mold our lives, unless we too treasure it in our hearts, and by patient reflecting on it understand its hidden harmonies, and spread our souls out to receive its transforming power.
A non-meditative faith is a shallow faith. But if we hide His word in our hearts, and often in secret draw out our treasure to count and weigh it, we shall be able to speak out of a full heart, and like these shepherds, to rejoice that we have seen even as it was spoken to us.
J.I. Packer offers a wondering description of biblical meditation:
Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God. Its purpose is to clear one’s mental and spiritual vision of God, and to let his truth make its full and proper impact on one’s mind and heart. It is a matter of talking to oneself about God and oneself; it is, indeed, often a matter of arguing with oneself, reasoning oneself out of moods of doubt and unbelief into a clear apprehension of God’s power and grace. Its effect is ever to humble us, as we contemplate God’s greatness and glory and our own littleness and sinfulness, and to encourage and reassure us — “comfort” us, in the old, strong, Bible sense of the word — as we contemplate the unsearchable riches of divine mercy displayed in the Lord Jesus Christ.