by Lauren Anderson

Twenty-nine years ago my husband Bill and I had the distinct honor to be asked to play Mary and Joseph in our church choir’s Christmas Cantata. Neither of us are really singers but our role was seemingly simple. We were to walk through the scene of Bethlehem two times as the choir sang: the first time knocking on door after door only to be repeatedly turned away, and the second time carrying our newborn son Jesus (played by our one month old daughter Heather) and lying him in a manger. Little did I know the huge impact this small part would have on me. It just felt so very real and frightening and now so very personal to me.  

During every Advent season since I continue to deeply feel the effects of that small part in my heart. SO much trust and faith God put in that young couple to carry out his will! How must they have felt during that long journey so far from home with Mary in the final stages of pregnancy and beginnings of labor with her first child? And to arrive in Bethlehem only to find that there is nowhere for them to stay and no one to help them bring their child/God’s promised son into this world. This reality is a wonder to me. As I bustle through the advent season I try to focus on the journey Mary and Joseph were on: their fear, anxiety and the physical discomfort they endured while displaying an amazing faith in and obedience to God and his promises even when it was hard and scary and cost them so much. The miracle and pure joy of Jesus our savior’s birth came as a result of much trust in and commitment to God.  What a great lesson and reminder to us all during this season of hope and promise! 

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Find our ’22 Advent devotional archive online.

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