It’s christmas eve’s eve, and it would too easy to ponder over all the things I wanted to do around and for christmas. It would be too easy to stress out about choosing Quality Street or Roses. It would definitely be too easy to forget why we’re all doing this in the first place.
On the original Christmas eve’s eve Joseph and Mary would most definitely have been on their way to Bethlehem from Nazareth. In nativity plays up and down the country, this part of the story is swept over, at most with a sweet rendition of Little donkey.
The Bible says that when they made the journey mary was noticeably pregnant. No kidding, she was to give birth a few days later – and I suspect mary opted for the typical loose clothing of the day over a lycra Maternity number. ‘noticeably pregnant’ was Luke’s polite way of saying she was huge and ready to drop. Now I can say this with authority because I have been heavily pregnant twice myself – no journey is easy in those last days. I remember being overdue with my Chloe and The Husband dragged (not literally) me out to take a walk in the hope that it might get things going. I even think he had my trying to skip. No joke. My journey was around my estate. Mary’s journey was, I think, around 80 miles. Donkey or no donkey, in my book that makes her a legend. 80 miles!!! No wonder she gave birth soon after. I even wonder, with it being her first kid, and ladies – you know how first births can drag on – she may well have had labour pains on the way [disclaimer: there is no theological evidence to Mary having contractions on the journey to Bethlehem, I am just sumising].
The reality was a lot different to how we’ve made it. I know for sure that whoever wrote the carol silent night has never had children. I’m sorry to say that the christmas story is messy – This young couple are forever explaining why she’s pregnant and she’s still a virgin, Mary is literally just about to pop when they have to make this exhausting and possibly dangerous journey. They get where they’ve been told to go by the government, but have no where to stay, and mary ends up giving birth in a cave that is meant for animals. It’s not quite how mary planned it when she was little. But here’s the thing. It’s exactly as God planned it. For the saviour of the world to be as relatable and as unintimidating as you can get. The servant king.