Advent: We Need the Journey

journey to bethlehem

You can light candles. You can read a devotional a day. You can put a sticker on a map, or eat a chocolate plucked right out of a cardboard box. But whatever you do, make this advent a journey, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Why? Because we need the journey.

The story of the birth of Christ begins with three journeys. One is Mary’s trek from her village to her aunt and uncle’s home. The second trip is Mary and Joseph’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem. And the last, of course, is Jesus coming down from the heavens to Earth to take on flesh and become man.

In each of these journeys that we will meditate on in the coming weeks, we’re reminded that someone or something had to change in order for God to be all that God wants to be in our lives. First, Mary changed individually. Then Joseph and Mary’s relationship changed. And then the whole world got changed. That’s what we believe.

Because whenever Christ intersects our world, life does change. But it starts with a personal, individual invitation for us to replace one habit, one belief at a time so that something new can be born.

If you’ve ever tried to change a behavior or ever tried to get rid of an addiction; ever tried to turn around a relationship or simply tried to make a difference in your community, you know that it’s not as easy as just declaring your desired outcome. Change takes consistency. And patience. And time. And a journey. It takes a daily, sometimes hourly, commitment to be in a time and space that’s set aside for something different. It takes resources and effort. It takes people, either journeying with us, or just encountering people that we never knew before. And in the end, we find something miraculous.

In short, something has to be created, that just wasn’t there before.

So, if you want your world to change this Christmas — if you want THIS world to change this Christmas — make the journey. Take each day, eat your fair trade, GMO free chocolate and commit yourself to being willing to change. Commit yourself to allowing God to create something new in your life, and to creating a space where Jesus can sit with you and call you friend. Do some things different. Toy around with some new ideas. Change your Pandora station, and listen to something new. Have some different conversations, and eat something that took some time to create with your own hands. Immerse yourself in a world of different habits.

You never know. You may just find yourself stumbling upon a Jesus you never knew before. One who loves people, loves creation, and loves the longings of your heart.