It’s Christmas day and we’ve piled into the car for a three-hour drive. It’s the usual trip across country to see family. Leaving Whittlesey, I’m wondering how my parents would feel if we stayed at home next year. I know, bad son moment! It’s not that I’d ever go through with it, just that Christmas is busy, and driving isn’t as pleasurable as it used to be.
For us, Christmas always involves travelling; it’s part of our family tradition. And I know we’re not the only ones. Maybe that’s why this year, as I think about the Christmas story in the Bible, it’s the journeys that people took that really stand out to me.
Think of Mary and Joseph. Before they even set foot on the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem, they’d taken a huge emotional journey. Mary was a teenager looking forward to her upcoming marriage and going about life as normal when suddenly an angel appeared and told her she would be pregnant. What? How? ‘A miracle from God,’ was the answer.
Joseph, hearing that his fiancé was pregnant and knowing he wasn’t the dad decides the engagement has to be cancelled. Another visit from an angel, this time in a dream, and Joseph changes his mind. So much for them to get their heads around. The 90 mile walk south to Bethlehem could well have given much needed head space.
Then you have the shepherds and the wise men. Both see a sign in the sky. The shepherds an angel, the wise men a star. Knowing that something incredible had taken place, they made their way to Bethlehem and discovered an ordinary family with an extraordinary child.
Which of these is the greatest journey taken that first Christmas? None of them! That label has to go to Jesus. Who is he? The Bible’s claim is that he is God’s son who left heaven behind and came down and became one of us. Does that sound far-fetched? Unbelievable? It’s certainly a big claim. But what if it’s true?
If you want to know more about Jesus and why he made that amazing journey, why not come along to one of our special Christmas services – dates and times are in the advert below. Last year we held our Carol Service outside in the car park and we’re hoping to do the same again. If you’re interested in coming, keep an eye out on our Facebook page or our events page for details.
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and New Year