What would our celebration of Christmas be if the Virgin Mary were only a “bit player” in the drama? When we think about Mary, two stories come to mind almost immediately: the Annunciation and the Visitation. Who can forget the account of an angelic visit promising a child who would inherit King David’s throne? Who can forget Mary’s beautiful response, “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38)? And who can forget the Magnificat, Mary’s soaring prayer of praise when she visited her cousin Elizabeth (1:46-55)?
But in between these two encounters, something else took place: the very first Advent journey. Scripture tells us that after the angel left...
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