Today’s Word: ‘TRAVEL’ as in… travel at this time of year is no picnic!
You’d think we’d have it down by now; the human race has been trying to crack the code on easy-peasy travel since “The Beginning.” Add celebrations like Christmas, or, say, a king demanding a census, and things get gnarly really fast.
Consider this ancient travel story:
“In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
Truly a remarkable story; one that’s certainly undergone some embellishment through the centuries, but profound, nonetheless. Setting aside sketchy details about donkeys, kings, camels, and a little boy with a drum, we do know that traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem was no picnic—especially for a young pregnant teenager and her “somewhat-to-much-older-husband-to-be” traveling the 80 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
As inhospitable as Bethlehem might have been at the time, life-changing stories of welcome would emerge.
As incomprehensible as air travel would have been at that time, there would be a flight into Egypt.
And as sweet as the news of this ancient Birth would be through the centuries, there would be a cross pressed into the heart of every person who ever considered this young family and their story that has traveled through the centuries up to this very moment.
All of which raises some questions. Where will your Advent travels take you? In the days ahead as you travel, how will the story of these ancient, holy travelers impact your journey? Where are you going today and how will you practice grace with others along the way? How does the expectation of this birth bless the road ahead of you?