Holy Journeys — Day 14




     There is a journeying or travelling that runs through the scripture accounts of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. We’ve got Mary journeying to visit and stay with her cousin Elizabeth when both are pregnant, then going back home. Mary and Joseph then travel to Bethlehem for the census, then after the birth they flee to Egypt. The shepherds travel from their fields to Bethlehem to see the baby. And, of course, the magi travel a great distance, following the star, then return home by a different road. That’s a lot of movement associated with this event.
            I think that’s appropriate, because the new life being born in the world, and in us, requires that we move out of our comfort zones -- as a baby must move out of the womb. The journey required of us may be geographical, or it may be internal – a journey of the soul. But move we must – if only to loosen up the places within ourselves that have become frozen, stiff or stuck. And when we make the journey, we may find something we did not expect at all -- like a newborn king in a humble manger.
            Most of these journeys enable connection, or reconnection. The cousins meet again and find they have something else in common. And with the shepherds and the magi: Those who began as strangers to each other meet and become part of each other’s life story. And those connections show that the light that is the baby Jesus shines through all their lives. 
            These are holy journeys – getting a new perspective, seeking out the unexpected, following promptings of the Spirit, connecting and reconnecting, forging new bonds, giving life to new relationships, coming closer to the divine.
            During the Christmas holidays, many of us will make holy journeys. We will travel to visit family and friends, we will cross new thresholds, we will seek to come closer to Jesus. What holy journeys, or pilgrimages, have you made in your life? What holy journey – geographical or internal – will you make this Christmas?
            Matt Harding has made holy journeys of his own – all over the globe – and got people to move – to dance. And in the process he created an amazing image of our connectedness -- of the light the shines through us all. According to his website:  "Matt thinks travel is important. It helps us learn what we're capable of, that the path laid in front of us isn't the only one we can choose, and that we don't need to be so afraid of each other all the time." A Holy Journey indeed. Listen to the words of the chorus to video’s song: “We’re going to trip the light, we’re going to break the night, and we’ll see with new eyes, when we trip the light.” The phrase "trip the light" may refer to "tripping the light fantastic" -- that is, dancing -- but I think it also means another kind of light, that we all share as part of God's creation.
      Here is the video. I've watched it many times. May it's infectious joy infuse your heart in this Advent season.