How do you think you would feel if you were nearly nine months pregnant and you came into a strange town to find out there was no room for you to rent. Someone offers you to sleep with the animals in a barn. You are tired from the trip and decide to take up his offer. So, there you are in the barn. Your husband fixes up an empty manger with extra hay and you lay down on it, listening to the animals who are getting ready for their evening rest too. Soon you are sound asleep. Sometime during the night you find you are in the beginning of labor.
You are frightened. This is your first child, but have the baby here in this barn? My husband must find a better place to have this baby! But no, this baby is coming fast.You’ll have to have the baby here with the cows mooing, the horses winnowing, the chickens clucking. It seems impossible you thought.
But it isn’t impossible. It happened just like that! Only it must have been worse. Joseph received the orders to leave Nazareth and go to Bethlehem with his wife who was nearly nine months pregnant to register. It was over 80 miles to Bethlehem and the only method they had was to walk! Joseph was able to get a mule, but the problem was that the mule had to carry everything they needed for the journey, blankets to sleep on, food and clothes. Mary could only ride part of the time so she would have to walk too.
It would take about four days if they walked 20 miles a day and that was doubtful considering her condition. I’m sure they were late getting to Bethlehem and that’s why the rooms were all taken. Many people also got the message to go to Bethlehem.
Can you imagine how Mary felt when she found out she would have to sleep in a barn? After all, she knew she was carrying God’s son and a barn wasn’t the place for Him to be born! But God knew he wanted the poor to be welcome to the little Christ child. Further evidence of this was the lowly Shepherds who were called by the angels to be the first to visit God’s Son.
He didn’t forget the rich either. The wisemen were also called to follow the star which led them to Bethlehem and the little one.
Putting yourself in Mary’s place makes the birth of Jesus much more real, doesn’t it? May you have a very blessed Christmas and a great new year!