During this time Jolynn and I are going on an Advent journey. In some sense beyond the physical, we are walking again from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The common packages of the time go with us. We have strung up lights and set a manger scene on the lawn. We have decorated the house with nativity scenes and praying Santas (and yes, a Santa climbing the ladder day by day to Christmas Eve). We have hosted two parties. We have been bathed in wonderful Christmas music at worship and through the mystery of CD’s. (I am currently listening to a new Christmas CD by Casting Crowns a contemporary/classical Christian group). We have (as many of you have) been reading Adam Hamilton’s book The Journey. The readings step us back into an ancient, and yet ever new, reality. Once again we learn the truth of God. In the swirling blessing of this preparation, I find myself pausing again to wonder at it all. John says, “The Word became flesh and made his home among us” (John 1:14, CEB). In the midst of our busy days, this truth penetrates in flashes of lighting and I find myself overwhelmed with God’s glory and love. May the preparations bring us all to the foot of the manger.