On this day, many years ago, pregnant Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem. It had to be a struggle for Mary—and for Joseph as he watched her. Their baby was due any time. In fact, Mary had warned him she felt the event they had been waiting for was almost here!
Walk beside them as they head away from their home, Nazareth, to a distant city because of a decree set in place by Caesar Augustus requiring all descendants of David to return to Bethlehem to register. It was only 93 miles, about an hour and a half in a car, but remember, Mary rode a donkey. Joseph walked.
The donkey’s slow pace rocks Mary into a lulled state. Her head bobs, but she is safe because Joseph keeps his hand on her leg to keep her from falling off. The silence surrounds them. Smell the strong pungent donkey odor that lingers in the air. He brays, asking for a stop, so they do.
With Joseph’s help, Mary rolls off the donkey and relieves herself in the bushes. Joseph provides a small drink for the tired donkey and a bit of hay. He also quenches his and Mary’s thirst and they share a piece of bread to stay them.
As they negotiate getting Mary back up on the donkey, they laugh at the absurdity of their trip and her awkward size. And once again, they continue towards Bethlehem, resuming the rhythm of the donkey’s gait.
That beautiful part of the day comes—the link between darkness and light. This makes the travel much more treacherous for Joseph to keep Mary on their donkey. Darkness comes, and a beautiful canopy of stars twinkle above them. One predominant star shines brighter and brighter, almost like it is guiding them to their destination. Then Mary screams scares Joseph and he knows the time is approaching too fast—way too fast. But she settles back into the rhythm of the road and he knows she hides any discomfort from him, to protect him.
They haven’t arrived yet in crowded Bethlehem, where they will face no room in any inn. Because of their slow travel, they will arrive late in the evening, but right now they are working their way to Bethlehem.
Are you ready to welcome the Holy Family into your home tonight? You may have a Nativity set up in your home, but are you ready to offer Mary and Joseph a place in your heart to birth the Christ Child? I hope you do!
~For me, it’s Christmas all year long! Here’s a variety of Christmas greetings from Flippo & Neeca, featuring his song, “When It’s Christmas Time in Texas”: https://youtu.be/mpJCUGffU3A
~My new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? WON the 2022 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in the Body, Mind & Spirit Category. Have you bought your copy yet? Vist my website: laradasbooks.com