There is one Advent Candle to be lit before Christmas day. Already Mary and Joseph are on their way to Bethlehem and I can only imagine her agony of traveling on a donkey across miles of road with no comfort, in open air, hot or cold at night, trudging onward and 9 months pregnant. Can you feel it? They will come to find when they arrive in their destination there is no room, no warm bed, no hot bath, no fine meal, awaiting. Jesus, the Christ child will be delivered by Mary and Joseph in a stable filled with straw and dirt, by firelight and starlight. It will be her first child and it will be pain she has never experienced before, she is frightened and tired from travel but she is about to give birth to the greatest man ever born of a woman, our Savior, our light, and our hope.

Mary will deliver this baby boy and name him Jesus. She and Joseph will be like all new parents, they will behold him and count his fingers and toes, smile and cry, sit and stare at him and adore him. Across the span of time, in a  completely different world, I will come to my Church and see the manger,and in my imagination I will be there with them, I will feel the night and and hear the sounds, and fall on my knees to praise and adore him alongside of them.

This 5 minute Friday, I ask us all to stop at some point wherever we are and go to Bethlehem to adore our baby Jesus on Christmas Day. May you all be blessed with His Love and His Grace.