So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
The trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about 80 miles in length. Mary, who was in the last days of her pregnancy, felt every jolt, rut, incline, and decline on the journey as she sat sidesaddle on a donkey. I was always nervous about my assignment to drive Lori to the hospital for the birth of our children. Can you imagine Joseph’s emotions as he took Mary on a four-to-five day journey over dangerous and rough terrain on a donkey?
Things only got worse when they finally arrived in the sleepy little town of Bethlehem. Every room for rent was taken. But Joseph and Mary were in no position to put their names on a waiting list. It was time for the baby to be born.
When God sent his Son into the world, he did not make it easy for the parents or the child. He stripped the Anointed One of every royal privilege. Already tagged as an illegitimate child, Jesus breathed his first breaths of air in a musty stable. Jesus learned obedience through suffering…all the way to the cross.
Lord Jesus, don’t let us glamorize the humility of your birth. Thank you for the humility of your humanity. Thank you for your sacrifice from the cradle to the cross. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
For parents: talk to your children about how Jesus laid down every royal privilege to come to earth. This can spark a great discussion about sacrifice. Share your stories with us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can encourage others with your insights.
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