Faith on a Journey – Reflection for the Second Sunday in Advent 2017
On this second Sunday in Advent, we remember the faith of Joseph and Mary as they travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem. I can only imagine what that journey must have entailed. Depending on the route they took, the journey would have been 80-100 miles.
I wonder if they travelled with a large group making the same journey, enduring the stares and muttered comments. Perhaps instead they braved the road alone fearful of wild beasts and lawless men. Even though both Mary and Joseph had been visited by angelic messengers and Mary’s pregnancy was proof of the truth of these messages, I’m sure that doubt and discouragement must have crept into their hearts as the journeyed the dusty road from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
We have the benefit of retrospect to look back and see how this journey was necessary to fulfill the prophecies surrounding the Messiah. We can also look back knowing the rest of the story. We have the record of the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus and we have the gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s easy to forget the faith required for Mary and Joseph to take that journey of faith as common folk from a small town trusting that God had called them for something special.
It is also easy for me to talk myself out of difficult journeys. I can wonder about the danger, the shame, the futility. I can be too busy, too uncertain, too comfortable, or too almost anything to journey into ministry whether across the street or across the world.
As we light this candle of Faith next to the candle remembering the Hope foretold by the prophets, let us consider those people and places where the hope is desperately needed, and let us consider what it means to journey in faith as we are called by God to be agents of His plan.