One of the meaningful metaphors for the Christian life of faith is that it is like a “journey”. This image implies that as disciples, we are always moving forward in our understanding of Christ and how he is calling us to new places in our walk of faith. If your experience is like mine, you know that sometimes this journey is a literal/physical one, where God has called us to go to some actual new place in order to fulfill the claim on our life. Other times the journeys we take are spiritual in nature, where through some experience (participation in a Bible study, an answered prayer, a worship experience, etc.) we sense that we have come to a new place in our relationship with Christ. Perhaps the most helpful reminder in this image is that we are never to be stagnant or immovable in any facet of our discipleship.
The book we are studying as a church during Advent, The Journey by Adam Hamilton shows that the characters in the Christmas story were no different. While the book is arranged according to the geographical journeys that mark the story (Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, for example), it also stresses the spiritual journeys that these familiar figures undertook. We can hardly imagine the journey that Mary took when she discovered that God had chosen her to bear the Messiah, or the inner journey that Joseph took toward acceptance of her when he found out she was pregnant. In our small groups and in worship, we will be studying these journeys, and no doubt finding relevance in them in relation to our own. It’s my hope and prayer as we take this particular Advent journey together, we will move closer not just to the true meaning of Christmas, but also closer to a fuller understanding of the sacrifice and growth that are a part of all of our journeys of faith.
A final reminder that it’s not too late to pick up a book (or the companion devotional book) and join a group. The sign-ups remain in the welcome area at the church.
Blessings on your Advent journey