12 words till Christmas · Advent · Journeying

7 words till Christmas… journey…

Another day closer to Christmas…
another word…
journey…

I happened to finish a journey today…
a journey through the Bible in three years…
a Sunday school class…
one I started by faith… well… three years ago…

A journey started with five…
we lost a couple along the way…
so three of us finished together…

At the end of a journey there is joy…
a sense of accomplishment…
(two on The Journey had never read the whole Bible before…)
and of course a sense of sadness…
we often part with fellow travelers at the end of a journey…

And… Yes… there is a journey or two in the Christmas story…

After the visit from Gabriel… Mary journeyed to see her cousin…
whom the angel told her was expecting too…

“… And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has conceived a son,
and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing
will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant
of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country,
to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb.
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit…
Luke 1:36-41 ESV
Mary hurried to her relative… cousin… Elizabeth…
who would understand the miracle within…
a barren womb now swollen with six months of life…
would believe… embrace… a virgin womb… blessed with Life…
Mary longed to see her cousin…
seek understanding… and confirmation of what had happened to her…
someone on a similar path…
Journey…

Joseph and Mary… were required to journey to Bethlehem…

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world
should be registered. … And all went to be registered, each to his own town.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea,
to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house
and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth
to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him
in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Luke 2:1, 3-7 ESV
Joseph and Mary had no choice about the timing of their journey…
Caesar didn’t concern himself with due dates…
or crowded cities… with no place for a laboring mom…
But even this journey…
part of God’s plan…
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth from me one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
Micah 5:2 ESV
Journey…

The shepherds took a short journey…

from the field to the manger…

The wise men… a long journey…
following a star… from east to west…

But the One who took the greatest journey of all…
was the One who came from heaven’s throne room… to a virgin womb…
from a virgin womb… to a manger…
from a manger… to a cross…
from the cross… to a virgin tomb…
from the virgin tomb… back to the throne room of heaven…

Jesus… King of kings…
Lord of lords…
Creator of the universe…
humbled Himself…
and chose a journey of love…

Because He journeyed…
we can too…

By faith we journey to the cross…
spiritually dead…
to be born again…
to eternal life…

By faith we journey through this world…
a spiritual wilderness… not our home…
to make our way… to Him…

At the end of the journey… will be JOY…
and sadly… we may lose some along the way…
but once we arrive… once the journey is complete…
there will be no more sadness…
no more separation… from Him…
or those who love Him…

Journey… a word of Advent…
one well worth taking…

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