We are coming close to the celebration of Las Posadas, a traditional Mexican Advent celebration meaning "the inns." In this celebration, the whole community follows children dressed as Mary & Joseph who go from house to house asking, "In the name of God we beg: will you let us enter?"
The party moves from house to house, turned away at every door, until at last they come to a place where they can at least use a stable and manger. There, the fiesta begins.
In this photo, members of the Multisynodical Candidacy Committee in Wisconsin welcome in a new student at Wartburg Seminary.
In our ELCA candidacy process, for those preparing for rostered ministry in the ELCA, the first step is "Entrance." This group of volunteers enter into relationship with people discerning God's call, for the good of the person and of the church, and labor with candidates to help in their discernment. They listen with that person considering this call from God and ask questions to evoke the Spirit's talking, not only to that person but through him or her. It is a tension-filled and exciting process to see God's Spirit working, even with all the ways it is hard to clearly hear God's call.
We rejoice when we can say to women and men, "Come in! Enter into this process of bewilderment and questions, of wonder and joy." Just like the journey through Bethlehem, it is not an easy journey. It can feel discouraging at times, like doors are closing in our face. But, we journey together in the hope that we carry Jesus in and with us.
Come and enter in!