Panic shot across their faces. Uncertainty, of what if this isnt true.
What happens next. Fear of being found. Fear of not knowing what to do.
Last time they gathered they went back to their old jobs, they tried to keep busy.
Tried to make the old ends meet work. Tried to cling onto something they knew.
On that occasion they were met again. But now they were leaderless. Their leader had left, Jesus has ascended.
The Disciples were told to wait.
They were told to wait. to wait in Jerusalem.
The slow, silence of waiting.
Got to be busy, got to think ahead, got to strategise, got to work it all out, got to plan. Replace the fallen (Judas), but then wait.
They were told to wait.
Maybe they couldnt wait alone.
Maybe they needed more help.
They were blessed with one amongst them who waited before. Because, at many times before, they had been too quick to act, to slow to wait. Time and time again.
But Mary had waited.
Mary was there again, waiting in the upper room.
Mary had waited for the coming of the Messiah – the first time.
She had been there before all of this had started.
Waited for the one who would transform Israel – the promised one.
Waited and then chosen to carry, bear, mother and grieve the child Immanuel.
Mary had waited, with those who had waited in the 400 years of silence.
Then waited another nine months, chosen for the most precious of tasks.
Waiting after the Angel visited, overjoyed, blessed – not panicked or confused.
Blessed for being chosen, in awe of her task.
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
52 He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
54 He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
55 For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.” (Luke chapter 1)
Mary waited twice, before Jesus had been born.
Physically waiting. Emotionally waiting.
She waited too, at the foot of the cross.
Waiting for him to die. Her Son crucified. God crucified, hope lost. Dreams shattered.
Waiting for injustice to end. Waiting for peace and the promise once spoken to be fulfilled.
She waited, when others fled. Waited for the sky to darken, and waited overnight with the other women.
She was before, she was during, and she is the constant, determined and the one experienced in ‘waiting’ for the action of God, to wait again.
And now a few weeks later, in the upper room, Mary, waits again.
Guiding those who feel confused to wait.
Might we look at Mary as the one who bookends the Gospels, was there before the drama took a shift
was there to herald a new chapter afterwards. The constant in the tense moments. The Guide. The chosen. The ultimate facilitator.
Might we wait like Mary waited.
Waiting for the new, waiting through grief, waiting through injustice, waiting for peace.
Take time to wait. Waiting for Hope. Waiting like Mary waited.