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Mary & Joseph Travel To Bethlehem To Have A Child
The Reason For My Faith ^ | 12/23/20 | Holy Spirit

Posted on 12/24/2020 6:42:18 AM PST by OneVike

I found this in an old file full of unfinished things I put away some years ago. Well, I stumbled upon it one day. I decided to pull it out, dust it off, and edit it some. I'm not the original author, Sio I take no credit other than the editing I did. I know I had picked at it like a scab through the years, So I am clueless as to what it originally looked like. However, I finally desired to put some serious time in it, and this is the final project. We are clueless of what Joseph and his pregnant bride had to endure on their journey from Nazareth to Betlehem, because all we have is one verse that even mentions it. So I offer this for everyone to ponder. Maybe it''s close, maybe its way off base. Either way I pray you are blessed with what the Holy Spirit moved me to do. Merry Christmas to everyone.
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:7
Joseph was in disbelief when he heard, so he asked asked a friend who was well informed of such matters of Roman affairs. Yes, his friend said, the news just recently arrived. The Roman Senate had ruled that Judea would also have to submit to the Emperors decree on the census. The jews would not be exempt. Joseph thinks to himself, surely not now, with Mary expecting a baby in only a matter of days. However, as members of the tribe of Judah, Joseph and his wife Mary must register for the census in Bethlehem and pay the taxes.

It was not the taxes the Jews argued over, it was that Jewish law says they should not be counted. With Herod's blessing, the Jewish leaders had argued all the way to the Roman Senate when they heard of the decree a few years earlier, but they failed to convince the Roman Senate. Most knew the Jewish leaders would fail. After all, the Senate had become nothing more than a rubber stamp for anything the Emperor desired to do. Well, it is so, and unless they complied the Romans would come down hard. Anyone not appearing at the appointed time could be fined or executed. So Joseph closes the carpenter shop and rushes home to tell Mary the news.
"Mary, something dreadful has happened. The Jewish leaders have lost their argument before the Emperor. All Jews must also obey his census decree. We must go to Bethlehem and we must leave tomorrow morning."
Mary turns pale and begins to tremble in fear.
"But Joseph? How can I possibly go in my condition?  It is near time for this Child to be born. I am already feeling the urges and the pains get more and more powerful as the days go on. How can I ride all that way?"
Joseph holds pulls Mary to him, holds her with a comforing embrace and tells her,
"Our Lord will look out for us. He will not desert us. Remember what we have seen and heard. That which our Lord has told us, will happen. I am convinced we will be fine. Why, I bet the Lord has a nice comfortable bed awaiting us in the Inn. We, all three of us will be OK."
Mary looks up to her husband and smiles as she draws strength and comfort from his words.
"I will collect some and food for our journey."
Joseph conveys strength for Mary so she will not be worried, but inside he cannot help but worry for his young bride who is with Child. Yet, he trusts the Lord, even if his heart is heavy.  

As they eat their evening meal, Joseph tells his wife they must take the shortest way to Jerusalem, not the longer one through the plains. It will be more difficult, though. The 3000 year old trading route winds for 70 miles through the rocky highlands, so it will be hard on Mary. For protection, Joseph purchased a place in a caravan that is passing through. It will provide protection from bandits, bears, and mountain lions.

In the morning, Joseph prepares the donkey with enough blankets to make Mary as comfortable as possible. She won't be able to ride the whole way, since the donkey must also carry the items they need for the long journey. While he prepares the donkey, Mary collects the food and cloths she put together and heads out the door to join Joseph. She stops momentarily as she feels the baby kicking. She knows it will be soon, and prays the Child doesn't arrive during the long journey.

Joseph helps Mary onto the donkey, and they meet up with the caravan. It's a good group people who are friendly. The conversation moves to Mary being pregnant, and how the Romans should be ashamed of themselves. What with them forcing pregnant women and children to travel so far from their home to be counted. The caravan leaves Nazareth in a cloud of dust and yapping dogs. The rich are in their chariots and wagons; the poor are on donkeys and on foot. Mary smiles and reassures Joseph that she ok, and comfortable, but he knows she worries about the Child.

They begin the trip by descending from the high hills of Galilee. Mary observes Mount Tabor in the East. She cannot know it now, but one day that mountain will be the site of the transfiguration of the Child she carries...the Child who will be called Jesus. The day is long. Dust and dirt fill the air, and Mary's back is aching terribly by day's end and she is exhausted. At night, she falls asleep in Joseph's arms as they lay on the ground.

They reach the plain of Jezreel carpeted with wildflowers that dot the landscape. However, Mary does not seem to notice much. She does not feel well and she misses home. Sleeping on the ground beside the trail is not easy for her. Joseph is also tired from walking the many miles guiding the donkey and its precious cargo. Mary and Joseph talk of the miracles of God and his plans for their future as they pass the many hours away while following the caravan to their destination.

One evening Joseph and Mary are caught in the rain. The wind bows the rain and makes it difficult to keep even a little dry. Joseph wraps a blanket around Mary praying that it is enough to keep her from getting too wet. The Lord is gracious however as the rain only lasts a few hours, keeping them from getting soaked or too cold.

Another day, goes by on the road as they slowly make their way mile by excruciating mile for Marty. They plod along and the days seem never to end. The caravan passes by the valley of Megiddo where Solomon kept his stables for his 900 chariots and horses. Joseph and Mary are unaware of it, but this is the place where the last battle of mankind will one day take place. A battle we now know will be called Armageddon. The place where the Child in her womb will come and put an end to Satans reign.

The weather is cloudy again which is normal for this time of the year, and Joseph worries about being caught in the rain again. It seems that Mary is getting weaker as the miles go on. There are many miles yet to travel, so as he walks beside her, he prays and tries to draw courage from the dream he had. To give the donkey some rest Mary must walk every once in awhile for a few miles. Joseph doesn't let her walk too much, but if they expect the donkey to be strong enough to traverse the mountain up to Jerusalem and onto Bethlehem, then Mary must walk at times to rest the Donkey.

As they pass through the village of Nain, they have no idea that one day their unborn son, Jesus, will restore a widow's son to life in this village. As they continue climbing in elevation the trip now becomes increasingly difficult. It is slow troding journey, yet Joseph and Mary are excited to be in the places they have learned about in the synagogue. There is Mount Gilboa, where Saul and Jonathan were slain by the Philistines and where David lamented the loss of his beloved friend. The words of the scripture of 2 Samuel 1:21 fill Joseph's mind as he worries about Mary, while fighting off the fatigue of the long journey.

Next, Mary and Joseph move through the town of Dothan. It is in the central market of Dothan, according to the Torah, that Jacob's son Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. Here, in this very place, Mary and Joseph pause to recite a psalm, a special prayer to protect them from such trials as Joseph experienced.

As the caravan keeps moving Mary feels the Child kick and move around as her back begins to ache with very step the donkey takes on the uneven road. As the day drags on with mile after painful mile as Joseph notices that young bride isn't smiling as much, and seems far off in her thoughts. They stop for the night, and Joseph gently lifts her up off the burrow and comforts her with a loving hug and tells her,
"You know our Lord would not let anything bad happen to us. We must have faith that He will protect us."
Mary sighs as she looks into the eyes of the man who has been so good to her and smiles as she replies,
"Yes, I know he will, Joseph. It's just that sometimes the pain and weariness get to me."
Joseph looks down at her and smiles back and tells her,
"Yes, me too. Come, let us eat. Then we can lie down and sleep for the evening. Tomorrow will be another day.
Another day, and like all the mornings, they are the most difficult part of the day. Neither can sleep well on the ground. However, today makes them especially thankfull, because this day their journey will result in marking the halfway point of their journey. They pass within ten miles of the Samaritan town of Shechem. Mary yearns, as all Jews do, for a cool cup of water from Jacob's well. Yet, decent Jews do not set foot in Samaria, it is forbidden territory. Besides thjey could not chance leaving the caravan. Besides, evebn if they could, they would be in danger of being robbed and murdred by some Smaritan bandits. One day in Mary's Child will visit Jacobs well, and a Samaritan woman will draw water for Him and recieve salavation.

The journey is long, and one of them will be on the Sabath. Mary and Joseph are both exhausted, so the day of rest will be much appreciated. Joseph will purchase some extra food for them and some hay for the donkey as they eat with some other travelers on the caravan. They sing Psalms and enjoy the Sabath dinner together. At the end of the Sabbath day, Mary begins to look more rested as they both end the day with prayers and pslams to thank God for the much needed time of rest. Tonight will be the first night they get good sleep since before they began their journey. This is good, because the second half of the journey will make the first have seem like a picnic.

The next morning the caravan continues upon its journery traveling around Shiloh. It is a sad and lonely place of broken-down buildings and shattered altars. Shiloh was once the city that possessed the Ark of the Covenant. It was sheltered in the tent of the Tabernacle, until the Philistines took it in a battle. Mary is reminded of the angel telling her the Child will be a Savior of her people. Makes one wonder if she ever thought of herself as a Traveling Living Ark!

Soon the caravan would reach Bethel. The place Abraham offered sacrifices to God, and Jacob dreamed of angels climbing up and down a ladder to heaven. As devout Jews, Joseph and Mary would pause for special prayers at this place. Mary does not know it now, but the Child she carries will also be offered as a sacrifice, but for the salvation of all of humanity.

As the journey progresses the caravan next comes upon the small wayside station of Ramallah. Here, at last, they get the first glimpse of the holy city of Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph can see Jerusalem's golden pinnacles glittering in the sun, 10 miles distant. With a full view of the land below, the couple join other of the caravan as the words of Psalm 137 echo throughout the caravan.
By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down, yea, we wept
When we remembered Zion.
We hung our harps
Upon the willows in the midst of it.
For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song,
And those who plundered us requested mirth,
Saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
How shall we sing the Lord’s song
In a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget its skill!
If I do not remember you,
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth—
If I do not exalt Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.
Remember, O Lord, against the sons of Edom
The day of Jerusalem,
Who said, [a]“Raze it, raze it,
To its very foundation!”
O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed,
Happy the one who repays you as you have served us!
Happy the one who takes and dashes
Your little ones against the rock!
They finally arrive at Jerusalem. The streets are crowded with people. It seems like the whole city is filled with Roman soldiers. Joseph leads the donkey and his wife through the streets as they arrive at the home of Mary's first cousin, Elisabeth, and her husband Zacharias. They have a chance to finally see Elisabeth's son, John. He is in his mothers arms, waving his hands around as he kicks his legs in glee when Mary and Joseph appear. This six-month-old baby will one day be known as John the Baptist. As they greet each other, their eyes are fill with tears and their hearts are overwhelmed with joy. They are the only people in the world who truly know about the tremendous news they all recieved from Gabriel. Yet, it takes a while before they can all calm down enough to even talk.

After awhile, as they sit around eating a dinner prepared by Elisebeth, they talk about the exploits of the journey the young couple had to endure. It seems like the exhaustion they felt from the journey has abated as they pass the hours away talking about everything, and especialay about what the Lord God is doing. None of them could possibly know the price their Chilren will pay for doing God's will. A few moments in time, that will overshadow most other momnets in human history. It's estimated that during a Passover in Jesus day, as many as four million poeple passed through the city. One can only guess how many were there during the census in 6 A.D. As the couples sat for dinner, just outside the walls of Zacharias' home, maybe as much as 2 million clueless people were gathering for the census.

That night Mary and Joseph would sleep in each others arms as they enjoyed their first night of comfort since they left Nazareth. Their prayers are filled with thanksgiving and praise for the comfort of Zacharias' home, the meal Elisabeth fed them, and the cot to sleep on. They fall alseep fast, and Mary is comforted as Joseph holds her tight.

There are only ten more miles to travel before they reach Bethlehem. The next morning, as Mary visits with her cousin, Joseph busies himself in Jerusalem securing exit visas so he will not be hassled by the soldiers and tax collectors on the last leg of their journey. He finds himself stunned at the coldness of the city and it's citizens as he passes the many people who never acknowledge each other let a stranger, and no one smiles. He sees the Roman barracks, the five great palaces and the huge Roman fortress named for Mark Antony. Then he sees the Temple with its eaves and pinnacles sheathed in pure gold.

When he returns to get Mary, they say their good byes to Zacharias, Elizabeth, and their newborn son John. Mary's time is very near and they wonder between them why God does not want the dChild to be born in the city that is home to His Holy Temple? But it is not for them to question God's ways. So they continue on their journey to Bethlehem. They are both looking forward to getting to Bethlehem so they can rent a room so they can be as warmm and comfortable as they were with Zacharias and elisbeth.

Back on the road Mary is beginning to have labor pains. The closer they get to Bethlehem the clsoer the pains she experiences. As the donkey trods along, she closes her eyes and prays to Jehovah that His plans are not for her to have the Chi on the side of the road. As the Sun begins to set they have less then five miles to go. It seems forever as they trod along the road hearing the temple sheep bleaping in the distance. They see shepherds off to the side of the road in the pastures tending the sheep that are being raised for the Temple sacrifices.

As Joseph walks alongside Mary, he sees the sheep. He is reminded of a conversation he had with a Rabi once. The Rabi told Joseph that the sheep raised outside of Bethlehem were the most perfect sheep in all of Judea. He wondered, if he could ever afford such a great sacrifice for God. How could he ever ever know that long after he went home to be with the Lord, his wife would watch their Son become a replacement for the sheep in the field.

Finally in the darkness of the night the weary couple pass through the walls of Bethlehem. Into the home where King David himself was born and raised. Joseph is alarmed, because Mary's birthing pains have increased and she tells Joseph the time is only within a matter of hours. Frantically, he seeks lodging. However, the town is swarming with other members of David's tribe and Joseph fears no lodging will be available. They come to an Inn reported to have an opening for travelers. Joseph helps Mary off the donkety, and brings her in with him. He is hoping that if they see that she is with ldChild that they will have pity and give them a room. They enter the busy Inn and ask the innkeeper,
"Have you any rooms for rent?"
The answer is not what Joseph wanted to hear,
"I'm sorry. I'm full up tonight. The census has brought so many people into the area that we are full up. We even have strangers sharing rooms with eachother. I just haven't anything left.
Joseph begs the innkeeper for any room,
"Please sir, you can see my wife is with Child and her time near. She needs a room to birth our Child. Pleas sir, I will pay double what you charge. Triple even. Don't you have something?"
Mary is visibly in pain as the Child kicks and the birthpains become closer and closer with more pain ech time they come. She can barely stand, as one hand rests on her belly, and the other holds Josephs hand. The innkeeper looks at Mary, and realizes her time of birth is near. He looks at Joseph and tells him,
"All I have is a stable out back. It isn't clean, there are sheep and cattle in it, but at least you'll be out of the weather. I feel terrible for you, but that's the best I can do. Sorry."
The innkeeper points to stable and returns to his customers inside as Joseph leads the donkey with his wife towards a cave where shepherds keep their sheep. There are hayracks and mangers there. Sheep and cattle toward the back of the cave, with the srong smell of menure lingering in the air. Joseph thinks to himself, surely this cannot be where the baby will be born. Mary is trembling and is deep in pain now. Joseph helps her down from the burrow and carries her into the cave. He makes a bed of hay for her, and places the blanket from the donkey onto the straw. He helps her lie down and does his best to clean things uo around her.He wants to help her, but not sure what to as he asks,
"Mary, what do I do? Let me go find help for you."
Mary sees how frantic her husband is and tries to calm him down, and then it is time,
"Joseph no. There is no time. The Child is coming now."
What happens next is what has happened millions of times before. A Child is born to a woman, as her husband offers all the help he can. Amidst the moowing of the cattle and bleating of the sheep, Mary crys out in pain. Joseph holds the Childs head as he guides it into the world. Soon there is a silence as he lays the Child upon Mary's bosom. Joseph goes out to start a fire for warmth and looks up into the night sky and sees a star so bright it seems to illuminate the whole town.

He then turns to look at his wife and Child and notices that the cave was also illumined by a wonderful light. He looks to the heavens and says a prayer of thanks to God. Later that night, some shepherds who were tending sheep nearby appeared at the opening of the cave, telling a story about how an angel from heaven had appeared to them. The shepherds were searching for the Child.

With Joseph on his knees next to his wife and the shepherds standing around looking down on Mary with the baby Jesus in her arms, all seems perfect in the World. The World has changed. The angels of God are singing. Today there is love, peace, and joy, but one day this little Lamb will cry out, "It is finished", and the price for our Salvation will have been paid in full.

God bless you all, and Merry Christmas Web Hits......

TOPICS: General Discusssion; History; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: christmas; jesus; joseph; mary
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Merry Christmas to all my FReepers friends, and may you all have a blessed prosperous New Year.

The Ness Family

1 posted on 12/24/2020 6:42:18 AM PST by OneVike
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To: Kartographer; Jane Long; dragonblustar; goodnesswins; Salvation; Waryone; TNoldman; chicagolady; ...
Merry Christmas.
I pray you like this story I offer,
about the time Joseph to his wife took Bethlehem

Send FReep Mail to
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My Ping List

2 posted on 12/24/2020 6:45:06 AM PST by OneVike (Just another Christian waiting to go home)
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To: OneVike

Uh, Bethlehem.

3 posted on 12/24/2020 6:58:42 AM PST by OKSooner (This right here is how to do a paragraph break. ==> <p>)
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To: OneVike

What a wonderful Christmas story. Thank you for posting it

4 posted on 12/24/2020 7:04:17 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve. DJT 11-07-20)
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To: OKSooner

OOPs, I stayed up till 1:30 writing it. I am upset with the spelling in a few places. I knew I should have gone to bed earlier.

5 posted on 12/24/2020 7:05:57 AM PST by OneVike (Just another Christian waiting to go home)
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To: moder_ator; _Jim; john

Could you please correct my spelling on the Title. I spelled Bethlehem wrong. I was up late till 1:30 in the morning. When I got up I wa still tired when I posted it this morning.

I would greatly appreciate it.

6 posted on 12/24/2020 7:07:27 AM PST by OneVike (Just another Christian waiting to go home)
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To: OneVike

Free Republic needs a like button :-)

7 posted on 12/24/2020 7:40:10 AM PST by Cloverfarm (Pray for the peace of Jerusalem ...)
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To: OneVike

Thank you for sharing such a great example of the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas and God bless!

8 posted on 12/24/2020 7:50:31 AM PST by Made In The USA (Ellen Ate Dynamite Good Bye Ellen)
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To: OneVike

it is beautiful. Thank you

9 posted on 12/24/2020 7:51:42 AM PST by Mom MD
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To: OneVike

Great I get slugg around in my new robe in a freakin wet manger in the rain...
This Frankincense is gonna get ruined
I should have got him some metals too like brass or somthing but nooooo “New born babies love incense” And what the hell is that in the sky to the north are we getting hit by another asteroid?
And somebody shut that damn little drumming midget up!

10 posted on 12/24/2020 7:54:01 AM PST by Ndorfin (Kitties,titties, and fiddies oh, and no sickies)
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To: Cloverfarm
Free Republic needs a like button

11 posted on 12/24/2020 8:19:42 AM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: OneVike

Thank you for your beautiful story. I visited Israel a few years ago and while in Bethlehem I was trying to imagine the journey that Mary endured. Your words have certainly brought it to life.

Merry Christmas to you.
~Apple Pan Dowdy

PS...... if you have not yet seen this, enjoy. It was a blessing to me and hope it will be to you too.

12 posted on 12/24/2020 8:37:48 AM PST by Apple Pan Dowdy (... as American as Apple Pie)
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To: OneVike

Thank you so much for all of your time and talent invested in writing this beautiful true-life story. I have printed a copy so I can read it every Christmas Eve.

13 posted on 12/24/2020 8:45:47 AM PST by SheRebel
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To: OneVike

Is there historical evidence for Jews not wanting to be counted? Or a biblical prohibition?

14 posted on 12/24/2020 9:58:06 AM PST by scrabblehack
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To: OneVike

Is there historical evidence for Jews not wanting to be counted? Or a biblical prohibition?

15 posted on 12/24/2020 9:58:06 AM PST by scrabblehack
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To: scrabblehack

Yes, in Jewish writings. They fought every attempt by Rome on all their censuses.

I believe Josephus mentions in in the Antiquities of the Jews also

16 posted on 12/24/2020 10:07:44 AM PST by OneVike (Just another Christian waiting to go home)
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To: OneVike

Thank you so much for this, OneVike. Merry Christmas!

17 posted on 12/24/2020 10:40:01 AM PST by Horkster (NFL: Not For Long, or is it No Fans Left?)
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To: OneVike

That was wonderful, OneVike. Thank you.

God bless you and your family.

Merry Christmas.

18 posted on 12/24/2020 10:52:17 AM PST by thecodont
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To: OneVike

I loved it!

Thanks, OneVike, and here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

19 posted on 12/24/2020 1:11:57 PM PST by SouthernClaire (God Bless America)
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To: OneVike
Our King rode into his Bethlehem his Birthplace on a Donkey.....

....and he Rode into Jerusalem Triumphantly On a Donkey!

20 posted on 12/24/2020 3:03:23 PM PST by caww ( )
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