Advent Season ~ Week 1 ~ Leaving Nazareth
December 2, 2018
Advent Devotional 2018
Worship at FLPC is enriched during Advent and Christmas by Worship Banners that were designed and created by Margaret McKinnon Harris and given to FLPC to the glory of God in 2016. Each week another pair of banners will be hung in the sanctuary that invite us into the ancient story of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth and into the current call to be transformed into a disciple of Jesus Christ. We hope these banners will enhance your worship on Sundays and will invite you into the journey of discipleship every day of the week.
First Week of Advent – Leaving Nazareth
It is early evening on the out skirts of Nazareth. Joseph is leading the donkey with Mary astride. The path stretches out before them, long and winding. Gentle hills lead to mountains. A crescent moon gives off little light. Joseph has decided to do most of the journey during the evening hours when temperatures are cooler and the road is less traveled. They rest during the heat of the day. We too are on a journey. Our life travels also have peaks, valleys, times of displacement and rest along the way. Where is your path taking you this Advent season? What have you left behind?
Read Luke 2:1-5
This is not the only time in history that people have left home at inopportune times because of government orders. And we all know what it means to fill out forms, wait in lines and do what the government says must be done. This time it was the Roman Emperor Augustus that wanted an accurate census count of the people. We can be sure that this count would be related to taxes, but there was nothing to be done but to do what the Government officials said. So, Joseph loaded his pregnant fiancée on a donkey and left home in Nazareth to travel to his ancestral home of Bethlehem. Often the things that God has in mind for us require us to leave home and to journey.
Einstein said that the definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over and expect a different outcome. We cannot do the same things over and over again and expect to be changed. The journey into which God invites us is not always convenient or comfortable. Home is comfortable and known. If we leave home, we may not know the way. What if we get lost? What if something bad happens? And sometimes we “leave home” not because we want to but because we are compelled to do so. But travel we must, if we want to be found faithful. Leaving home is often the first step towards growth in faith.
- Can you think of journeys in the past that God has used for good purposes?
- What fears keep you from taking the next steps in your faith journey?
- What would “leaving home” to be found faithful look like for you?