The Journey to the Manger

Photo Credit: Walter Chavez on Unsplash

by Joan Kelley

Advent starts this week.  It marks the beginning of the church year calendar, followed by Christmas, Epiphany and then Lent, Holy Week and Easter.   Advent means coming or arrival.  It’s the season of waiting and anticipation as we remember with awe and wonder that first Advent when Jesus was born.  It’s a season of slowing and savoring as we acknowledge Christ’s presence in our own lives, a daily advent.   It’s a season of immense hope as we actively wait for the 2nd advent when Christ returns.  Past, present, future advents.


During this time, we make our way to the manger, journeying with God’s story, the characters, and our own stories.  We remember the prophets, the angels, the shepherds, the wise men.  We acknowledge the aspects of God’s character found in the journey to the manger – hope, love, joy, peace.   Why not begin this week making your own way to Bethlehem and see how God meets you in the journey?



  • Reread the Christmas story in Luke 2. What character might you journey with this year? Read the story in several different versions and imagine entering the story as that character.
  • Consider getting an advent wreath and gathering your family or a group of friends each Sunday night during the next four weeks. Sing a Christmas carol, read the story, light the advent wreath.



Jesus, meet me on the journey and at the manger with your immense hope, love, joy and peace. Help me to slow down enough to not miss your coming – past, present and future.  Amen

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