December 16, 2015

Journeys of Christmas and more

As I've been Standing Still with Christmas this year, I've read and considered the story and all the traditional meditations  - A Coming: the fulfillment of the covenant found in a baby; Joy: the world receives a Savior; Peace: the arrival of the Prince of Peace; Sharing: of gifts, but even more important Good News - so Go Tell It ... over the hills and everywhere!
I was struck by a different theme in the Christmas Story to meditate on this year... JOURNEY.
Journey.  A distance or course traveled.
Mary and Joseph had gone on a journey back to Bethlehem - a long arduous journey that was at the very least uncomfortable for Mary and must have involved PATIENCE on the part of Joseph.  But most of all this was a journey of TRUST -  A young girl finding herself in the family way with no human explanation; a gentleman who upon hearing the message of an angel took his bride despite human misgivings.
The Wisemen had gone on a journey to find a newborn king.  Setting out in great ANTICIPATION, traveling a very far distance over a long period of time yet never wavering in their BELIEF of the PROMISE in what lay at the end of the journey even though the journey's end was found in the most humble of homes.
The Shepherds had gone on a journey to a stable after receiving what had to have been an announcement that inspired great WONDER and AWE as well as HOPE.
Each journey led them to one end  - a babe.  The Prince of Peace.  The Lamb.  The Counselor.  The Messiah.  The Savior. 
Each journey ended quite simply put.... in JOY.

Journey. A distance or course traveled; passage or progress from one stage to another. 
Each of us is taking a journey.  One that involves much that is similar to those who journeyed for that Christmas.  Our journeys involve patience, trust, anticipation, wonder, and awe.  No matter what our journeys bring, we don't have to travel alone.  We have the FATHER who has promised us just that.  Every year we are reminded of HIS PROMISE and our HOPE in Christmas as we celebrate the SAVIOR. 
Our journey has been extra blessed by the people we've traveled with - relationships that are blessings to our family; reconnecting with dear friends; continuing to deepen other friendships; and finding new companions with whom to travel.  We've made great memories along the way.  But the best of all is that we have common JOY in knowing and visibly seeing the ONE who guides our journey and we travel with both knowing and assured of our destination.
It is our prayer for each of you to travel your JOURNEY in this HOPE knowing your are loved unconditionally and that knowing the SAVIOR, your journey will end in JOY!

Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born.
John 3:16   For God so Loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, and whosoever believes in Him shall have Everlasting Life.
John 15:11   I have told you this so your Joy may be made complete.
Romans 8:38-39   For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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