Luke 1:39-41 (The Message)
Mary didn’t waste a minute. She got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah’s house, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped.
In today’s reading, The Message paraphrase really captures the feeling of the moment: “Mary didn’t waste a minute.” It is believed that Elizabeth lived in Ein Karem, which would have been about 90 miles away from Nazareth. Although Mary didn’t waste a minute in making her preparations, it still probably took her several days to make the arrangements for travel.
A single woman couldn’t just pop into her car and tear off down the highway in those days. She would have had to find a group of people she knew who were traveling in the direction of Ein Karem. She would required permission from her parents to travel. She would have to gather supplies for the journey. Then she would spend several more days actually walking the long distance between her home and Elizabeth’s.
Can you imagine the anticipation and anxiety Mary was feeling? She hadn’t told anyone about her amazing experience of being visited by an angel and the news that she would bear the Messiah in her womb. During those long days of planning and travel, did she begin to doubt herself? Had it all really happened? The angel Gabriel had given her a great gift: a way to verify that all she had heard was real. If she arrived at the house of Zachariah, and saw that Elizabeth was indeed pregnant, then… then she would know.
When have you had to wait to receive important news?