During that first Advent, Mary and Joseph would have already been on the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem. With around 100 miles to travel they would have needed to allow for at least 8 days to get to their destination. The journey took a week or more. The road was well traveled, the main route to Jerusalem from Galilee. Mary and Joseph’s trip was complicated. She was late in her first pregnancy. “Great with child” is the way the old King James Version of the Bible puts it.
So here we are 8 days from Christmas. Are you on the road to Bethlehem? Have you taken time to pause and get ready for the trip? Are you preparing your family for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, or are you still milling around Nazareth expecting Christmas to just happen? Being ready for Christ’s birth requires preparation. Mary and Joseph had a destination in mind, and would not let anything stand in their way. What about you? What is your destination this Advent season? Are you getting ready for Jesus, or are you simply surviving this craziness we call the Christmas season? In order to be ready, we have to get on the road to Bethlehem. We have to stop and redirect our attention to the birth of Jesus.
Christmas will come. Will it simply be a time to share new memories with family and partake of a few holiday dishes, or will your enter into to the mystery of God becoming flesh. How we approach the next 8 days will make all the difference. Join me on this road to Bethlehem. You might just discover a new way to celebrate this new born King!