On foot

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From the Manse.......

As I begin to take the first part of my postponed Sabbatical, looking at and being on pilgrimage, many of the nativity passages within Matthew and Luke Gospels have a poignant resonance this year, for both walking and journeying feature heavily in the narratives that are so very familiar.

A young betrothed couple travelling from Nazareth to Bethlehem in order to be registered and star gazers from the east, searching for and following a star. Then of course, the flight and escape to Egypt of Mary, Jospeh and their new born son.

Even with the help and use of a donkey and camels (none of which are mentioned in the texts) those who feature in these much loved passages would have been on foot for quite a lot of the time.

In the Old Testament, three characters are specifically mentioned as being those who "walked with God". One is Noah; Brownie points to those who can name the other two!

There is something significant about walking that helps to root us in the reality of the world and of everyday life. Journeying at a walking pace, allows us to take in our surroundings and to appreciate the views that are before us and all that which we so often readily ignore or take for granted.

Walking, by its very nature, is not fast and there is something about the pace at which you travel that is important.

We often speak of our own journey through Advent towards Christmas and as we follow in the footsteps of those who are part and parcel of the Christmas story, may we be aware that, like all pilgrims, we tread on holy and hallowed ground; our feet touching the earth upon which those who have gone before us have trod.

As together and on our own, we travel towards Bethlehem once more, I wish you all a peaceful and blessed Advent and Christmas

With love and God bless

Keith

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