I suggest reading Malachi 3:1-4 and Philippians 1:3-11 in preparation for tomorrow's Old Testament and Epistle lessons.
I am hosting Mary and Joseph today for Andii Bowsher's wonderful Posada chainblog project. If you wish to follow the blog's progress, visit my friend Dr. Platypus tomorrow (Sunday, Dec. 10).
What always strikes me about this part of the Nativity story is the sheer danger of the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. It was not an easy trip, even had Mary not been pregnant. It's easy for us to say, from the safety of 2,000+ years of history, that God protected them. It's true, but a very different thing for them to live in that trust than for us to celebrate it. I suspect that when I finally see "face to face" once this life is over, I will recognize the providence of God in many ways that I could not while on earth. The fact is, it took obedience, guts, and courage for the Holy Couple to trek from Galilee to the City of David. Then, to add insult to injury, they had to pay for the "privilege" of being enrolled in the census. They not only had to be obedient to the will of God, they had to be immediately obedient to the Roman authorities.
What a fascinating chain of events began with Mary's "Let it be with me according to your word" assent to God's will! Saying "yes" to God nearly always marks the beginning of an adventure.
As one of the pre-December 24 "hosts" of the Posada, I can give shelter only for this one day. It is my assigned role to send Mary and Joseph on their way with a "Sorry, no room" message. Realizing that fact has made me reflect, in writing this, on the times I have done exactly the same thing to "the least of these." There have been times when I've welcomed and served the least, as well.
Lord Jesus, please forgive my refusals and accept the halting welcomes you've received from me. Help me be more faithful, even as I now symbolically turn away your earthly parents.
Jennie hosted the Posada yesterday here. For more on the Posada chainblog, read Andii's initial post here.
Here is the rest of the Posada hosting schedule:
- Sun 10 Dec Dr Platypus
- Mon 11 Dec Sally Coleman
- Tue 12 Dec Jim Palmer
- Wed 13 Dec Anne Gogh
- Thu 14 Dec Weekend Fisher
- Fri 15 Dec Dave
- Sat 16 Dec John Cooper
- Sun 17 Dec Sue Wallace at Abbess
- Mon 18 Dec Lucas
- Tue 19 Joanna at Keeping Feet
- Wed 20 Adrian at Emerging Church info.
- Thu 21 Ian Mobsy at Mootblog
- Fri 22 Bob Carlton
- Sat 23 Chelley at Chelley's Teapot