We have a routine. All of us do. But here on Iona, we follow a weekly routine, and we are not particularly comfortable when that has to change. We can and will be flexible, in all sorts of hospitable ways, but in the end, we enjoy our routine.
On Friday morning we bid adieu to our guests of the week, and then return to our work areas for meetings, getting our house in order for the next set of guests and a little social time without the pressure of caring for guests. On Saturday afternoon, everything needs to be ship shape, as new guests will arrive, we will prepare meals, have welcoming time, worship and other guest events. Sunday is our big worship service in the morning, followed by our main meal of the day during lunch, activities, events and then an evening meal of soup, then worship. Monday and Thursday some guests will go to Staffa, to see the Fingeals cave and the puffins, while others will do other things. Tuesday is pilgrimage day, and guests will do the long or short pilgrimage, Wednesday is a day of planned events and activities, then Friday we say goodbye and start all over again. That is routine.
Routines and rituals can be important, but when they become the most important thing we need to be careful. When doing the thing becomes more important than what we are doing or who we are doing it with, we need to be careful. That's where the Pharisees got themselves in a bit of a bind. So let's hold them close, but not tightly, and our routines and rituals can continue in our thin place.