Nazareth to Bethlehem was a 90-mile journey.
Today it would be equivalent to a 2 and a half day’s trek from
Awka to Abakaliki
Port Harcourt to Bayelsa
New York to Philadelphia
Minus eastern mass transits
Minus ubers and bolts
Minus Gig motors
Nazareth to Bethlehem was 90 miles of burning sun by day.
90 miles of blizzard cold by night.
90 miles with a 9 month pregnant Mary due at any moment.
And I wonder if the pressure got to them
I wonder if the gravity of the mission weighed down on Joseph
Did his faith come under attack by a legion of questions
why are we going to Bethlehem when Jérusalem is the other way?
There are no royal palaces in Bethlehem
Only shepherds shepherding sheep.
God, this isn’t the way I imagined the birth of your son.
How does a carpenter fend for a pregnant woman?
God, how do I explain to my cousins in Bethlehem that the woman I married six months ago is nine months pregnant with your child?
How am I supposed to be a father to God?
God there has to be someone better qualified for this.
I’m not questioning you I just have questions.
The story of the nativity isn’t just the story of our savior’s birth.
It’s the story of broken people who sacrificed comfort, ease, and dreams to see God’s light shine in a dying world.
It is a reminder to everyone that the road to delivery isn’t always paved with Gold
No bed of roses
No piece of cake
One minute you think you’re on the road to Jerusalem
But you find yourself on a 90-mile trek to Bethlehem
God never leaves us
God never forsakes us
When the road gets darker the miracle is in sight
When darkness casts a shadow on our way,
His life-light will shine
His star will always lead the way
No matter how tired he felt.
No matter how much their feet ached
No matter how many nos they got
How many “sorry we’re booked full, try the next inn” as he searched the streets of Bethlehem for a place to rest their weary feet
No matter the worry that threatened his sanity
I imagine Joseph with a smile on his face
The moment he saw the star in the sky for the first time
You could feel it in the air
Like God was there
There was something in the atmosphere
I imagine Mary humming a tune attuned to the song of angels as she laid down
Every labored breath told our story
Every contraction our pain
With every push creation cheered
The heavenly choir prepared for that one moment
When God would speak those Blessed words again
Let there be light
Let there be light
And there was light
But it was the sound of a baby’s cry that ended our night
God-incarnate among men.
Destinies altered for good.
And I wonder if they knew that their tired feet are the reason we are all standing
Mary, Joseph Did you know that your journey was for us all
Us who were broken
Us who were aching
Us who were lost without hope
Mary did you know your 90 mile journey was not in vain.
-Monye is the award winning author of Give Us Each Day