The Journey


A Christmas Story from young Mary's perspective. 
This was spoken at our ladies' Christmas Banquet. I did not write this, but Sue was kind enough to let me share it. It is lengthy, but so beautiful to be reminded...

Based upon:  Matthew 1:18-2:15, Luke 2:1-20

I am weary, bone weary.  This trip has taken more out of me than I thought it would.  I guess that being nine months pregnant will do that to a soul.  Perhaps it is time to crawl on the donkey again, but even that is not comfortable.  Nothing is comfortable.  If I get onto the donkeys back then Joseph will have to take the bags on his back again, and they are heavy.  He has been so patient with me, but he must be tired of travelling so slowly. 
My sandal strap broke miles back and has slapped my ankle with every step leaving behind a blister that is broken.  Every bone in my body aches, never have I been so tired. 
“How much further” I call to my husband. 
“Almost there” he replies.  “Maybe an hour or so.”
An hour seems like forever to me but I don’t say anything to him.  He has been so uncomplaining throughout this endless journey.
I remember being so distressed to learn that the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus had ordered everyone to return to the place of their ancestors to be counted for a census for taxations purposes.  It meant a five day journey to Bethlehem from Palestine, the home of Joseph’s kinsmen.   I had hoped that the baby would already be born, but the time came to leave and no baby yet.   So we packed for the journey with extra supplies for the birth.
Because of the decree, there were many travelers on the road.  Our custom is that the men and women travel separately.  However, Joseph was very protective of me, and during the day we often traveled together.
Before we left on our journey my mother took Joseph aside to explain what to do in case the baby was born along the way. How to catch the baby, cut the cord, wash and wrap him.   She has not always been so supportive, but she is excited about this grandchild. 
I remember when she first suspected that I was pregnant.   The anger and accusations towards me and Joseph cut me deeply.   I told her again and again that the baby belonged to God himself, but she did not believe me.     It took time and my marriage to Joseph for my Mother to accept the pregnancy.  Now she can hardly wait to hold her grandbaby.    She cried bitterly as Joseph and I started off towards Bethlehem, I know that she will worry greatly until we return. 
The sharp pains are continuing in my stomach, I have suspected for hours now that my labor has begun.  So far I have been able to keep it from Joseph but this time the pain is sharper and catches me by surprise.  I almost double over with the strength of the contraction.   Joseph notices and hurries to my side. 
“Is it time?” he asks.
I wait for the pain to subside before I answer.  Breathing slowly as my mother taught me.  “Yes, I think that it will be soon.”  I respond.
“Right now?”  He asks his face turning very white. 
“No,” I said “babies can take some time coming I think that we will make it to Bethlehem.”   Although I don’t really know how much time we have before the birth, I don’t want to worry Joseph any further.
 Joseph quickly starts to unload the donkey of its bags and says “You need to get back on the donkey so that we can get there sooner.”
I comply, and I crawl on its back once again.  I am sure that I am a comical sight as I half crawl and half roll onto the donkeys back with Joseph’s help.    Joseph grabs the bags and urges the donkey into a faster pace.   I am as anxious as is he to get to Bethlehem.  I don’t really want to have this child on the side of the road.
It seems like forever before we see buildings ahead and we know that we have come to the town.  My contractions have continued but are not all that close together yet so I know that we still have some time.  Every time my stomach tightens Joseph stopped the donkey and let me work through the pain.  I could see that my husband was getting more and more anxious with each contraction. 
We are very grateful when we finally see Bethlehem and immediately we went for a place to stay among Josephs kinsmen who lived there; but because so many people had returned to town every home was full.  We then went to the centre of town and stopped at the local inn.  Joseph asked for a room, but they were already occupied.    The keeper of the inn noticed me sitting on the donkey and had pity on us.
“I do have room in the stable out back if you like?”  He said.  
Joseph quickly replied “We’ll take it.” 
 At that time I felt the beginning of another pain rip through my abdomen.  They were getting much stronger.  Joseph thanked the innkeeper and hurried the donkey to the stable which had been carved out of the hillside.  He hastily helped me down from the back of the beast and sat me on one of the hay bales.  He began to unpack the saddlebags and clean spot on the ground for me. 
Another contraction seized my body.  I let out a groan and doubled over with the strength of the pain.  How I wished that my mother was here. 
Joseph laid out the blankets and eased me onto them.  He does not say much as he unpacks the bags and gets ready for the birth.  I know that he had hoped that we would be back in our own home when the baby came, but babies have a way of coming when they want to.
“I am going to go find a midwife.”  Joseph said.   
“Don’t go, the baby will be soon.”  I say.
The pains come faster and stronger.  Soon I am pushing and my screams are startling the animals in the barn, but I can’t stop them.  The pain is excruciating, I feel like I am being split in two. 
Joseph calls “I see the head Mary, push, push.”
I press will all my might and feel the baby pass from me.  I wait, and listen.  Finally I hear a loud cry, he is healthy and whole, I cry with joy.    Joseph brings him up so that I can see him, he is perfect this little son of God.   Joseph then takes him and cleans him, and brings him to me before he wraps him.  I count all the fingers and toes.   
Joseph continues to clean up and then comes to sit with by me.  He watches me nurse the child. 
“What shall we name him.” he asks.
“Jesus” I respond.
“Of course” he replied.  “He is the son of God.”
“Oh Joseph, I don’t feel worthy of this.”  I say.
“Mary, God choose you for this.”  he says.  “I will love him as my own and we will do this together.” 
I transfer Jesus into Josephs waiting arms and I can see the love for the child in his eyes. 
“Rest now Mary.”  He says as I drift off into sleep.  
Later I awoke to a clatter of noise.  It seemed that some shepherds from a nearby field wanted to see Jesus.  So Joseph very proudly showed them my son.   We listened to their amazing story of an angel who told them about him.  They were so excited to see and hold the baby and after their visit they went off to tell others about the birth of my son.   
I know that Jesus he came from a holy conception, and that there is a holy calling on him.  I feel such an enormous love for my child.  As I hold my precious child in my arms I can’t help but wonder at his future and what it holds.  I pray a silent prayer that I may be strong enough to raise this precious Son of God. 
Written by Sue Merta 


Christmas is coming quickly! Praying you all find some quiet time to reflect on what the Lord has done!


  1. Thanks for sharing this story. Love that song too!

  2. Love the song! Thanks for sharing! I love new blogger friends. I have a giveaway going on over at
    Would love you to come check it out! :)


  3. awe love love love it. precious.

  4. I absolutely love this movie and this song, my daughter's choir sang it this year at their concert, I was TFE (tear filled eyes), then I became TFF (tear filled face)!



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