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Journeying with Purpose: A Christmas Reflection on Christ and Travel

As the Christmas season unfolds, our lives often become entangled in the web of busyness. Amid the hustle and bustle of preparations—cleaning homes, wrapping gifts, and packing suitcases—we find ourselves on the move, traveling to visit loved ones, buy groceries, and procure last-minute gifts. Yet, in the midst of this holiday rush, there lies a profound opportunity to redirect our focus to the essence of the Christmas journey and its true purpose.

Mary and Joseph's Uncomfortable Journey

Consider the discomfort of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem. Mary, betrothed to Joseph and carrying the Savior of the World, faced potential public disgrace and stoning for her perceived sins. However, Joseph, guided by an angel, chose to embrace his role in raising the Messiah. (Matthew 1:18-25.)

The discomfort didn't end there. The decree of Caesar Augustus compelled them to travel over 90 miles to Bethlehem during the final stages of Mary's pregnancy. Picture the family tensions, societal judgments, and physical strain they endured. (Luke 2:1-7.)

Today, as we prepare for Christmas, let us turn our hearts to this discomfort and know that even if our travels are full of family tensions, or that things aren't "perfect" in our own eyes - that the Lord is still with us and that is what matters the most.

weary mary and joseph traveling to bethlehem

The Angels Announcement

The angels' journey to proclaim the birth of Christ to the shepherds was a proclamation of the long-awaited Savior, promised since the time of Adam and Eve, 2000 years previously. While angels are always among us, the Lord pulled back the veil so that the shepherd could see and hear their great proclamation. (Luke 2:8-14)

Over the holidays we often share great proclamations with families and friend: that we are pregnant, that we have made new accomplishments or advancements at work, that we have new goals for the new year, etc.

As you travel this holidays, how can you reflect on the greatest proclamation of all? That we are awaiting Christ's return!?! What will your travel testimony entail?

Shepherds Rejoicing

In response to this proclamation, the shepherds journeyed to the manger and found baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes. Then they proclaimed the good news throughout the whole entire town. (Luke 2:15-2)

It is not lost on me that the Savior was born in lowly means, a king born in the stench of animals. Or that the first ones to hear of Christ's coming were lowly shepherds. But the shepherd's joy and excitement was exuberant joy.

As Christians, it can be challenging to express unreserved joy, fearing vulnerability or comparison. Yet, the holiday season invites us to celebrate others' joys, recognizing the blessings God bestows on each individual.

And we should be willing to travel to celebrate those joys with people in person! For we are living temples of God's great joys!

The Wisemen Follow The Star

When Jesus was two or three years old, the wisemen followed a star and found him in Bethlehem. They brought gifts to him and worshiped him. (Matthew 2:1-12)

While they may have been astrologers following what they thought were earthly signs of significance, they were actually following the Biblical truths of old coming true.

Today, as we celebrate Christmas in various Western ways, let us redirect our hearts to Christ the Savior. In our travels, may we seek Him purposefully, acknowledging the profound truths embedded in the Christmas story. Let us worship the King in all our adventures!

shepherds traveled to baby jesus rejoicing

A Different Kind of Christmas Travel

Travel is a blessing from the Lord and a calling we all have to explore the nations. While the holidays are often a time focused around family and friends, they are still part of the travel that glorifies God's kingdom.

With that in mind, I encourage you to travel a little differently this Christmas season!  As you travel, may your heart be attuned to the true purpose of the season, finding solace in discomfort, proclaiming the greatest message, embracing exuberant joy, seeking Christ with purpose, and exploring God's kingdom in a different light. Safe and purposeful travels this Christmas!

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