“Over the meadow and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go.” These were words of excitement for us as we prepared to spend the Christmas holiday with our children’s grandparents. The words changed into tremendous challenge as we packed our little station wagon with suitcases, a playpen, dog kennel, dog, gifts, diapers, food and the five of us.
Almost every time at least one of the kids was sick and the others crabby. There was invariably a blizzard. In thinking back on those trips, I can’t help wondering what Mary and Joseph were thinking as they traveled across rough terrain, with a child about to born at any minute. The trip from Galilee to Bethlehem was about 80 miles, with some side-tracking to avoid the Samaritans, because they were their enemies.
They had no fancy chariot to get them there. They had no hotel room waiting for them. It took almost a week for the treacherous journey. They faced danger at every turn, but they knew they were part of God’s extraordinary plan for salvation.
My little inconveniences while raising a family were nothing compared with what this young couple went through. An unwed mother, impregnated by God, rejected by her friends and family and her betrothed husband, still reeling from the revelation from an angel – they plodded their way across a dismal landscape to register for the census in Bethlehem – the town of their lineage.
The thoughts that must have filled their minds. We can only imagine the faith these two displayed as they relied completely on the God of their fathers. All of this was done to fulfill God’s message to the prophets of old.
Dear, Jesus, as we celebrate your Advent, remind us that you are God in the flesh. You were born for the sole purpose of laying down your life for all sinners. Your birth was the beginning of the greatest love story ever told. Amen!