This past Sunday, we learned how in Advent everything is changed. We journeyed with the biblical characters who accompany us each year on the way to Bethlehem, the place of Jesus Christ’s birth. First, we learned about the Prophets who listened closely to God and pointed to Bethlehem long before Jesus Christ was born. Next, we learned about the Holy Family: Mary, the mother of Jesus; Joseph, the husband of Mary; and the donkey on which Mary rode while pregnant and tired, on the long road to Bethlehem.
We learned about the shepherds who tended their flocks in the fields outside the town of Bethlehem, and the host of angels who, when they told the shepherds the Good News of our Savior’s birth, sang joyously praising God. The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem to see him, and accompany us now through their story. We remember the special joy of the occasion by lighting a pink candle, as pink is the color of roses and celebration.
We also learned about the Magi, the three wise men from the East, whom we remember on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. They came the longest way of all, following the big Star to Bethlehem, bringing presents to the baby Jesus whom they knew to be the King of Kings. We commemmorate their arrival on Epiphany, the sixth of January, which in the church calendar is also the twelfth day of Christmas.
We know that what happened then, in one place and time over two thousand years ago, is happening now. Because of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, his light is with us, now and always, any time and any place we happen to be when we need him.