Good Friday morning ...
It's December first ... and as the retailers like to say, "There are only 24 more shopping days until Christ
But it's also the beginning of Advent ... that season of the church year when we prepare for the celebration of Christmas AND, just as importantly, for the Second Coming of Jesus!
Advent is a journey ... a journey that we start wherever we are and end up by December 25th in Bethlehem,
This is an ancient journey, one first taken by the shepherds who, upon hearing the angels announce the Good News that Christ had been born, said to each other, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem!" [Luke 2:15 NASB]
I like the way that sounds.
"Let's go." I'm going and you're going ... so let's go together. During the Advent season, Christians of all backgrounds and denominations ... Christians from every tribe and every tongue ... Christians young and old ... male and female ... rich and poor ... we all join together to make this journey once again.
"Straight." No messing around. No detours. No excuses. We're on our way to see the Savior.
"To Bethlehem." To the "House of Bread" [the meaning of Bethlehem] where the Living Bread has come down from heaven. We're coming thirsty and hungry because our journey is long and hard and we are tired. We're coming to worship the Babe in the manger.
We start where we are and following the readings of the season, we end up with Mary and Joseph and watch as they put their newborn son to bed in a rough-hewn feeding trough.
So let's get started. Wherever you are, you can make the journey. I invite you to join me.
Let's go straight to Bethlehem. Jesus is waiting for us.
Have a blessed weekend as you begin the journey ...