The On-Ramp to Christmas – Part 2 Between Gabriel and Elizabeth

by DanWolgemuth on November 22, 2019

Interruptions are often unwelcome, and at times frightening. But just imagine. A young teenaged girl… possibly lost in the anticipation, or fear, or delight of an upcoming marriage. Then, a voice, an exchange, an encounter. With an angel. With Gabriel.

“Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”

Mary was reeling. Not just on her heels because of the conversation, but because of the words spoken with heavenly clarity, and divine blessing.

“Favored one…”

Then the news.

Conception. Birth. A son. The son of the Most High. A throne. A King. The King. A Kingdom. An everlasting reign.

Then… questions. Practical. Reasonable. Questions.

Answers given. Cosmic answers.

Then… a Notary’s Stamp. Elizabeth. A relative. An old lady. Pregnant. Not alone. Two miracles. A celestial duet. Her questions had a mentor. Her fear had a companion.

Then… silence. “The angel departed from her.”

“Departed.” Alone. With her thoughts. Her questions. Her fear. Alone with her worries about an explanation. A future she thought she could anticipate, now in chaos. Shambles. Nothing, absolutely nothing would ever be the same. One encounter made certain of that.

But now, Gabriel was gone. The silence was deafening. Had she heard correctly? Had she heard at all. The fuse on the cosmic battle of the ages had been lit. God was personally breaking into history. He was making good on a promise He had made to Adam and Eve. It was time to crush the serpent’s head. Now. Through a teenaged girl in a remote Jewish community.

Is there any doubt whether Satan himself spoke words back to Mary? In the vacant space between Gabriel and Elizabeth… words of shame and doubt and disbelief and fear…

But she had a promise to check out. An endorsement to read. Silence was not God’s abandonment, but His sacred space. A place for her soul to be cradled and comforted. An 80-mile walk to Elizabeth. 80 miles to reflect, to remember the lessons of scripture. 80 miles to ponder the childhood lessons of a coming Messiah. 80 miles to recall, to assemble the dream, to unpack the plan. 80 miles to galvanize her resolve.

Silence. The invitation of God to go deeper. Every dirt crunching step an opportunity to bless, anticipate, and worship. In the silence, the memory. “O, favored one.” Words that soaked the dry ground of doubt. She clung to the transcendent promise, “the Lord is with you.” With you in the silence. With you in the uncertainty. With you in the fear. With you in the anticipation. With you. Period.

Silence became the invitation to linger… on her divine purpose and calling.

“A son.” “God’s son…”

Courage birthed. Energy given… for the 80 miles of silence.

And in this, Mary shows us the way. Through doubt. Through fear. Through uncertainty. Through pain.

Silence. Solitude. Noise canceling clarity on the promises of God.

Then and now. After Gabriel and before Elizabeth, we wait. In the silence. We listen. We reflect. We worship. One dust crunching step after the next. Walking to the next promise of God.

Never alone, even in the silence.

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