Christmas Eve. A day to celebrate our journey of Advent. Even before getting out of bed, the gift of the train’s whistle arrived through the quiet winter air calling me, saying, “Get ready. The journey is complete. Just get on board. Just thank the Lord.”

pilgrim-journey

Pilgrim at the End of His Journey by Thomas Cole 1850

It seems everything I read this morning has the theme of the journey. Wise men traveling their slow journey across the desert.  Shepherds following a star. Family members arriving to be welcomed home. And we, too,  have traveled together, writing and reading, as our hearts have journeyed to prepare for this Coming – this Advent. And I must ask myself as you must, “Am I different this year?”

Listen to Henri Nouwen’s thoughts:

“God Came to us because he wanted to join us on the road, to listen to our story, and to help us realize that we are not walking in circles but moving towards the house of peace and joy. This is the great mystery of Christmas that continues to give us comfort and consolation: we are not alone on our journey. The God of love who gave us life sent us his only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that he walks with us…

Christmas is the renewed invitation not to be afraid and let him – whose love is greater than our own hearts and minds can comprehend-be our companion.”  (Gracias! A Latin American Journal)

I love the thought of Jesus walking with us on our life journey. I love the idea that this is our greatest gift – a gift of love offered freely to all who will go on the journey. I love this annual “renewed invitation” for opening the gift again, receiving it with greater acceptance and deeper humility with each passing year.

As with any journey, we must gather up our traveling things and prepare for our destination. Today, tonight, let us make room for this wondrous event. Let us witness angels singing and stars dancing in the night sky.

“Into this silent night

as we make our weary way

we know not where,

just when the night becomes tits darkest

and we cannot see our path,

just then

is when the angels rush in,

their hands full of stars.”

(Ann Weems, Kneeling in Bethlehem)

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