The Christmas story is filled with journeys: Mary’s and Joseph’s trek to Bethlehem, the magi’s visit to the child, the holy family’s escape from King Herod into Egypt. Even the shepherds had a night hike from the fields to the stable in order to see the baby. Perhaps we all need to do a little traveling to discover Jesus.
This week my two daughters are traveling home. Christina flew in Saturday after her first semester at college. Suzanne will arrive tomorrow from her new home in Bloomington, IN. I will be glad to have them under our roof for a time; it will certainly add to the Christmas joy. Yet I know it is temporary; their life-paths are taking them on new adventures that may or may not be in close proximity to Carolyn’s and mine. I guess that is part of trusting Jesus to guide the way.
I am also remembering one snowy December evening when I was flying home to Washington state for Christmas. I had been gone a whole year, having worked the summer near my college in Philadelphia. I had to change planes here in the Twin Cities and a snow storm had shut down the airport. I was sitting in the terminal, waiting for my Seattle flight, feeling homesick and very much alone. I wondered if I would ever get home as the snow piled up outside. As the night got deeper and longer, I thought about Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem. How lonely they must have felt, yet God was right there with them. It slowly dawned on me that God was with me that night as well. Emmanuel, God with us, is the intimate message of Christmas. Little did I know at the time, that I would invest more than thirty years in the Twin Cities, discovering God’s presence and power among its residents.
In what ways have Christmas’ journeys impacted your life?