Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Holy Family’s Travels

Tonight I was thinking about Mary and Joseph’s travels. At this point, it was just a few days before the birth of Jesus. Mary and Joseph must have been still a little ways off from Bethlehem. Riding the donkey must have been very hard on her at that stage. And surely Joseph walked much of the way to ease her burden and I’m sure he wasn’t wearing anything as comfy as Skechers.

As for accommodations, I don’t allow myself to get into technical arguments in my head about exactly which month the baby was born. We celebrate it when we celebrate it. But it still took 9 months to come to pass after conception. And they still had a long, hard journey. And as the Bible mentions, she was heavy with child.

I wonder if she knew at that point that there wasn’t any place for them to stay in that crowded city a few days ahead of them.

Then I began thinking of the actual arrival in the city, and the disappointment, and the hasty, last-chance place that would be their lodging for the birth. Whether you choose to believe it was a stable, or whether you choose to believe it was a cave, it sure enough was not my old but functioning (except for the broken pipes beneath the house) mobile home, and their donkey was not as easy a ride as my old but functioning car.

Then too, folks tend to ignore the fact that in those days, they did not have hot and cold running water, their feet were dusty, and they did not have comfy mattresses. Lumpy or not, my mattress surely has to be softer than where she lay her tired body to give birth.

Lord Jesus, whenever I am tempted to think things are tough, help me to remember what Mary and Joseph went through back then. Help me to always appreciate what I have and the love you pour out to us if we do not shut ourselves off from you.

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