In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. (Luke 1:26-29 NIV)
Every ADVENTure develops its own routine.
Whether observing the boating life or the liturgical practice of ADVENT, I notice that I get into a routine. I follow the same ritual each day. On the boat, we wake up before the sun to feed the dog, make the coffee, and check the weather before casting off for the next section of the river. During Advent, I may light a candle, read a devotional or two, and write in my journal.
This year for Advent, I had grand ideas of following the Pause, Ponder, Prepare devotions and add to my art journal, but the boat routine hasn’t really allowed for that routine. Instead, I have found myself drawn to the gospel written by Luke. I am not reading it in a very methodical way, but instead kind of just meandering around, one pause here and another wondering there.
It started with my interest in what were the first questions posed in the New Testament. I noticed that the first question in Luke’s narrative was asked by Zechariah. That doubt filled question that silenced him until the birth of his son, John.
The next question is similar, but different. More of a clarifying question. Not the incredulous hesitation of Zechariah, but a quizzical how can this be type of question. But before we get too much into Mary’s question to Gabriel, I have a few questions myself.
I was wondering about the circumstances surrounding Mary’s encounter with Gabriel. With Zechariah, we know where he was, we know what he was doing, and we could decipher the time of day depending on when the incense was offered in temple worship.
With Mary, we know that Gabriel arrives and delivers his message. We know that Mary lives in Nazereth and she is a virgin engaged to Joseph. We know that it was approximately six months after Zechariah’s encounter with Gabriel.
But we don’t know what Mary was doing that day. Or was it night? Was she preparing a meal or praying? Was she getting ready for bed or just waking up? Was she inside or outside? I suppose it doesn’t really matter, but I imagine she must have been going about some routine task.
More questions. Why was Gabriel’s greeting troubling? Did she ever daydream about being the mother of the Messiah? Did she know that the greeting implied that very thing? “Highly favored” and “The Lord is with you” were those phrases that set her heart racing and her mind reviewing the prophecies of old? Did she know Isaiah’s words?
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. “ (Isaiah 7:14 NIV)
Perhaps her question sought affirmation to her hope. Or maybe it was just a human question of how would this promise become viable, since she was a virgin.
More to ponder. But we do know her routine was about to change. It was time to hurry to see her cousin, Elizabeth. Mary’s ADVENTure was just beginning.
The routine on the Intuition remains the same for now. Time for bed. Then wake up, feed the dog, make coffee, check the weather and cruise down to Mobile, Alabama.
How do your routines comfort or challenge you?
Photos from today’s routine run down the river:
Linking with Dawn and the crew at Random Journal Day! (I am using my blog post as my journal post today.)
And click here for a random post from a past ADVENTure!