Advent is a time for Christians to anticipate the coming of the Christ-child. For the four Sundays prior to Christmas Day, we practice waiting for Jesus’ birth and in our waiting, experience the grace of God preparing us to receive the gift of Jesus anew.
This year, my preaching for the four Sundays of Advent, which began last Sunday, is biographical, focusing on the figures we see around the manger scenes we collect and display. When I think of Jesus’ birth, I think of the people gathered there in those 3-D representations that decorate our mantles (leaving aside that the magi or “wise men” weren’t there until two years later historically). But the point is, each of those figures made a journey to the manger. And each of the characters we see there took a path that was unique to them: Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, the Magi/Wise Men, and even God in Christ. The journey was physical and geographical, of course, but also inward and spiritual. That’s how we’re looking at the Scripture texts this year, seeing what sort of inward, spiritual path God calls or reveals to each person and how that might illumine our path as well.
Question: What have been the major features of your personal “path to the manger,” when you have come to know Jesus as God’s gift to the world?