29 November 2010

Anticipation and Preparation

'Tis the season. Or so we are reminded by the eager push of retailers, insuring that we know how many shopping days to Christmas. Our culture seems to revolve around shopping as the most important means of preparation for the Nativity we Christians eagerly commemorate and anticipate.

I pray you find time in this Advent season to reflect upon the ancient family who delivered Jesus. My perspective is so radically different this time, having visited the Holy Lands this past summer. I will try to share that journey with you as we faithfully pray through Advent.

The mosaic at left is one of the many from around the world at the Latin Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, childhood home of Mary and Joseph.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. . . ." Luke 1:26-31, NRSV

At each Holy site we visited, where the church remembers events in the life of Jesus and those with whom we walked, talked, and taught, we read scripture aloud. It was such a Holy exercise to be able to see with our eyes rather than our imaginings the very land where Jesus walked. I loved Nazareth. It felt like a safe and holy place. It is a good place to begin the Advent Adventure toward Christmas.

Remember to visit our daily online devotional site as d365.org is retooled for the season; Following the Star . What a great way to begin the liturgical year anew.

Blessings in your journey to Christmas!

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