I am currently sitting behind the wheel of my stalled land cruiser stranded in mida-o-nowa, Uganda. Amy, Anna and the kids have caught a ride to Fort Portal and are safe. Having time to reflect over the past four days (really 5 weeks) of travel and painfully realizing that we will be adding one more before we arrive home and wanting to spiral down into self pity, Jesus gently whispered to me that Christmas is the season of journey.
As I pondered this thought, I realized everyone in the pageantry of Christmas was some sort of journey. Obviously, the wisemen came from afar. So did Joseph and Mary. Even the shephards- though not as far, left their sheep and hillside to travel to Bethlehem. For what? In different ways, God had called each of them to leave what they knew for something they did not. The wise-men were given a hint of the spectacular through the heavenlies. Mary and Joseph were just obeying q royal decree, not realizing that in doing so they were fulfilling prophecy. The shepherds, well it seems obvious, but I bet they were so stunned by the fantastic display that they could not imagine what may be laying in the manger. Yet, ultimately God had called him there for one purpose. To see His son and to worship. And they did. The wisemen were compelled to give away their treasures. The shepherds made quite a scene dancing and praising God down the streets and Mary cherished it all quietly in her heart.
The longest journey did not include any of these. The Child Himself left the very throne room of God to be with us for our good, the Father's glory and His joy. May this compel all of us to worship.
Interestingly, I find myself identifying with each of these stories. Like the wisemen, Amy and i want to give our best gifts to the Lord. This is how our journey started. Like Mary and Joseph, we are not sure how our journey fits into the bigger story. We do pray that through it we will be able to present the Christ, our savior, to those the Father brings to us. Like the shepherds, I do long to dance up and down the streets declaring the good tidings at the journeys end. Like Christ we do it for the Joy set before us. This joy is the privilege of walking with Him on an incredible journey in a way that allows us to see Him and worship Him in new and deeper ways.
Right now, however, I am wondering how often the wiseman caravan was waylaid in route to Jerusalem. I am also thankful for Atwooki, our friend and mechanic who is journeying 2 hours to come and fix my car.