In the Christmas stories, Mary and Joseph transition from being a couple to being a family, parents. That is a very significant change. It is an entire change of life and orientation. It involves a mammoth reallocation of time and resources.
Other transitions in the life cycle involve significant transition. Moving from being a child to a teen ager is a big shift with a driver’s license to prove it! Moving from youth to adulthood is a drastic reorientation. Oh, I have to take care of things and keep myself and my life together, someone else is not going to do it for me. There are transitions during adult years to new jobs, new homes, new family arrangements, the empty nest, grandparenthood, retirement. Really, when you think about it, life is one continuous series of transitions.
We can think of these changes in terms of migration. What are we leaving behind? What are we moving toward? How do we navigate those changes as smoothly as possible? It is not always easy.
It is beautiful that in the church we have relationships with people of differing ages and at many different places along life’s journey. We can listen to one another and learn from one another about how to traverse the many changes life brings with grace and intention. This helps us to make our migration through life toward what is life giving and life sustaining. We can make our transitions, accepting the grief as well as the blessing, with hope and joy.
In this Advent season, as we think about Mary and Joseph preparing to welcome a new baby, may we think about where we are on life’s journey. What transitions are we making? Where is our migration taking us?
Seeking to live and flourish, may we make our way toward Jesus this Advent season. Amen.