90 Miles! (A Christmas reflection) – Samuel Monye

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


God, why? 

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

Remember this

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.

History rewritten.

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

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