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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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On our journey to the manger

Three pilgrims Zechariah, Joseph and Anna guide our path

Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh!" Few of us have ever seen such a contraption, but ignorance does nothing to blunt our enthusiasm for this winter song. And however we get there, many of us will travel "over the river and through the woods" to a grandmother's or daughter's or father's house to celebrate Christmas. The season bustles with travel and family.

A spiritual truth echoes in this bustle: The liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany also invite us on a journey. The journey both ends and begins at the manger in Bethlehem. Like wise men and shepherds of old, we travel to Bethlehem to behold God's love incarnate. There we worship and adore. Then we travel away from the manger, returning to the rhythm of daily life.

Advent inaugurates the journey that moves toward a manger and ends in Resurrection. As we make this journey every year, we spiral deeper into the mystery who is God.

There are no maps for the road ahead. We scramble for directions to that stable in Bethlehem. There is no street address, no phone, no e-mail. Yet, we have a person and a promise — and that is more than enough. The person is Love itself, God's Son, Jesus. The promise is that our heart's desire will find us. Indeed, the One we seek found us before we ever started looking. All we need to do is stay on the journey.


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