Pastor’s Column

Travelers on the Journey

“A choice lay ahead. The traveler could allow herself to be dragged toward Bethlehem this year, kicking and screaming through the tinsel-laden pressures of the expected route to Christmas. Would she journey or not? All around her, folk were expressing the desire to stay home, lock all doors, take the phone off the hook and opt out of the pandemonium. After all, hadn’t she ‘been there, bought the T-shirt,’ year after year? Yes, she would go. Right from Genesis God had promised light and she owed it to herself to make the journey. What she dreaded was packing the case.”1

All of us bear the heavy burden of life’s “baggage” as we set out to experience Christmas. We carry memories and expectations toward Christmas, not knowing for sure how it will work out this year. Many of us may even find ourselves asking, “So where are the wheels for this baggage?”

Our Christmas journeys are as individual as the baggage we carry; however, it is the promise of Christmas that makes the journey possible. In other words, it is Jesus who provides the wheels. I invite you to reflect on the following prayer as you continue your journey towards Christmas, then beyond, baggage and all:

Dear God, it’s hard to prepare for the journey with a fresh spirit. Been here before, we think.
Lord God, ruffle my packing enough to help me see the vision you have for me along the way.
Please gift me with the right amount of wonder for anticipation, a healthy degree of trepidation to know I travel in the hands of a living God
Who can touch my yesterdays as much as my tomorrows. Lord make me expectant, make me new. Amen.2

Peace to you,

1 – Hilary McDowell, On the Way to Bethlehem: Reflections on Christmas for Every Day in Advent, (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2000), 15.
2 – Ibid., 17.


Dr. Jim Hunter, II

Dr. Jim Hunter, II

Senior Pastor


If we choose, stillness can be an indulgence worth experiencing.
. . . The question remains with us; are we able to be quiet? Are we able to be still?