Friday December 21

Luke 1:39–45 “In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’”

They say Advent is a journey—four weeks of spiritual exploration that lead us to the joy of Jesus’ birth at Christmas. We read that Mary went with haste to visit Elizabeth. That would have been quite an expedition in those days, since the route from Nazareth to the hill-country town of Hebron, the traditional home of Zechariah and Elizabeth, was more than one hundred miles. I’ve always been a fan of adventures, especially ones fraught with danger around every turn. I want to know more details about Mary’s adventure in this story. Did she go by herself those many miles? Did she have an animal to ride? Did she run into any trouble? Whether we’re ready for them or not, these adventures, these journeys of faith, can present themselves at any time. We have to ask ourselves, “Are we confident enough in God’s presence with us at every turn?” Talk about a journey of faith!

Faithful Shepherd, you have called us to adventures we cannot understand. Well up in our souls the faith needed to sing your praises even when the road is treacherous. Amen.

Advent Photo Challenge:  Take a picture each day during Advent and share on your social media platform of choice with #stpauladvent
Today’s picture inspiration: Darkness