Advent Devotional for Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas Characters: Holiday Travelers

Suggested inspiration: Personal experiences

There is absolutely no way to avoid it. It’s been a part of Christmas tradition since the very first Christmas, and this is probably the busiest day of the year to engage in it. Everyone has had to do it at one time or another. What’s the tradition? Traveling before the holidays.

Since that first trip to Bethlehem all those years ago, people have traveled to be with their loved ones on Christmas. The decision on where to spend Christmas is often the first major bone of contention for newly married couples. Do we head for your parents’ house or mine? Could we just stay here and make our own Christmas? Will we drive or fly? Can we afford to purchase gifts for everyone in your family?

When traveling for Christmas, one inevitably encounters other Christmas travelers. Almost everyone is in a hurry and many wear facial expressions that make bystanders wonder if they are related to either Scrooge or the Grinch. Like Mary and Joseph so long ago, there are always unexpected surprises.

If you are traveling this holiday season, pray for patience, endurance, and a safe arrival at your destination. To quote a hymn title, “Take the Name of Jesus with You” and let that name bring you the promised “joy and comfort.” On this day especially, love your (traveling) neighbors and give them a smile as you pass. It might just make their day.

Mary Jo Powell