A friend posted this picture on her Facebook recently. I had just been talking about how everyone (including myself) is so busy during the Christmas season.
When I think about slowing down, I begin to replay the narrative of Mary and Joseph in my mind. The angel talking to Mary, Mary visiting Elizabeth, the possibility of a quiet divorce and then the angel talking to Joseph. And then, the journey to Bethlehem.
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.” Luke 2:1-5
It doesn’t say so, but if you look at a map, the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem would have been a long one. It was likely a trip that took many days. And, Mary was very pregnant.
What does your journey to the manger look like?
Does it seem long because you are tired and anxious about the stresses that come with the holidays?
Are there roadblocks with a full calendar of events and money to spend, which make it hard to see the end?
Perhaps you are trying to weather a storm of sadness, as you remember loved ones who are no longer with you?
In this season of Advent: waiting, anticipating, longing, we can rest in the celebration of Jesus our Savior. He comes down to us and we can rejoice!
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.'” – Luke 2:10-11
We have nothing to fear or stress about when we look at the destination we are walking towards, the manger. For that place holds a remembrance of what God has done for us. He has sent Emmanuel “God with us” to fill our lives with hope and be the light to walk towards as we continue on our journey.