The Journey Toward Christmas


Hope, Search, Follow, Believe, Rejoice

I’ve heard it said, “It’s not the destination; it’s the journey.” As we move into the seasons of Advent and Christmas, I would suggest the real joy is found in the journey. The Lord says, “Shout and rejoice, O Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you.” (Zech 2:10) In those words we begin to experience a sense of Hope in the midst of a troubled world. Our tendency is to look for comfort in the things around us – that which we can see and touch. However, all of the world’s troubles are based in spiritual disease. Who will help us be healed?

“For the time is coming, “says the Lord, “when I will place a righteous branch of King David’s throne.” (Jer 23:5) We hear that one is coming, but who will it be? Who can help us with our real struggles?

We hear the angel, Gabriel, as he speaks to Mary: “You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. …His kingdom will never end!” It’s him – the one we are searching for – the one who can heal us and bind our wounds. We hear the voice of heaven calling to us: find him and follow him. And so we do.

With the shepherds, we hear the pronouncement, “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!” And then with the shepherds, we go. We kneel by the manger and stare wide-eyed at the miracle it contains – God in the flesh – Emmanuel, God with us! How can this be? Do I deserve such a gift? Can such a Savior even be possible? Yes, you can believe your eyes. There he is, right in front of you.

Even if you did not see him in the flesh, Jesus calls you to have faith. He says, “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” (John 20:29) This is all you have to do to receive the gifts offered to you through the Savior – Believe! “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29)

The scripture tells us the shepherds “went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had said.” (Luke 2:20) Once you believe, like the shepherds you can rejoice over what you’ve seen.

Hope, Search, Follow, Believe, Rejoice – What a journey! As you move into this holy time, maybe this year, instead of focusing on a particular date, you can focus on the journey. May your trip through Advent and Christmas this year be a blessing to your spirit.

Grace and peace

Pastor Ross

Last Published: December 9, 2020 9:19 AM
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