Often in life we find ourselves on a journey not of our own choosing: The unexpected happens, interruptions barge into an all ready packed calendar, plans made with intentionality and care suddenly need to be altered. The events surrounding the birth of Jesus remind us that we are not alone; Mary and Joseph found themselves on a journey they had not planned. Likewise, the Wise Men found themselves on a journey, not knowing the outcome, but knowing it was a journey they must make.
Mary’s journey with Jesus took her to mountaintops of joy and valleys of despair. Many times the journey Mary found herself on were not of her own planning, nor were they what she expected, and often did not want to make. Adam Hamilton in his devotional, The Journey, writes:
“Like Mary, all of us find ourselves forced to take journeys we do not wish to make. These journeys are not prescribed by God but by life’s circumstances or the will of others. In the midst of them, we may be disappointed, wonder if we’ve been abandoned by God, or simply feel confused as to why we’ve had to travel such roads. Perhaps Mary felt some of these same emotions on the journey to Bethlehem.” (p.106)
No matter the journey we find ourselves on, we, like Mary, can embrace God’s presence in the journey. Like Mary, we embrace our God who delivers, sustains, and empowers, knowing, “God has a way of bringing good from disappointment, suffering and pain.” Like the Wise Men we can make the journey, and when all is said and done experience “overwhelming joy!”
As we continue the journey to the manger this Advent season, let God direct your path, empower your steps, and lead you to that place of peace; yes, peace even in the midst of chaos! I look forward to seeing you in Church as we make the journey together!