Clip clop, clip clop, clip clop sound the donkey’s hooves. Mary & Joseph and the baby in her womb are on a long journey.
“Joseph, would you please stop for a moment.”
“What’s going on, Mary?”
“Uhh . . . ohhh . . . . .
“Joseph, I think this baby wants out. I’m in labor, dear.”
“Criminy, Mary! We’re in the middle of nowhere. Let’s try to make it to Bethlehem at the very least.”
Mary focuses on her deep breathing and uses the rhythmic motion of the donkey’s stride to her advantage as she labors. She notices that the sky is a deep blue color and the stars are out. The evening is quiet and warm. Her trusty steed plods along patiently. Her steadfast husband who guides the donkey looks back often to check on his laboring bride.
“You hangin’ in there, Mary?”
“Uh huh. OOOOWWWWW!” she groans.
“We’ll be there soon. Look, I can see the outline of town ahead on the horizon.”
Soon they arrive in Bethlehem. It is quite late, and it is clear that their entrance into town was an imposition. They request lodging and are turned away several times. Finally, they are at least offered a spot in the barn. Mary & Joseph are weary and happy to have any shelter in which to rest. Mary is able to rest between her contractions, and even Joseph catches a bit of shut eye. They are lulled by the sounds of cows, horses, and chickens in the stable.
“Joseph. JOSEPH! I think it’s nearly time!!” Mary cries out. Joseph is startled awake. He rubs his face and gets ready for the birth of his child.
He encourages her. “Mary, I am seeing his dark hair.” And soon there after he exclaims, “You almost have him out!” Joseph is so proud of Mary. He can hardly fathom how she instinctually knows what to do.
“Can I do anything for you, Mary?”
“Please hold my hair off of my neck and out of my face.”
“Ah much better, dear. Thank you!”
Mary continues to push with Joseph assisting in any way he can. After what seemed like an eternity (but was more likely two or so hours), Mary birthed a son.
Mary & Joseph’s son was to be called Jesus. He is the Son of God. Shepherds and wise men alike knew of his birth and were guided to his birthplace by the brightest star in the sky. They brought him gifts and honored his parents, especially Mary who was brave and faithful enough to endure the physical and social burden of carrying this particular precious child.
“Behold! A virgin shall conceive and bear a son.
And shall call his name Immanuel. God with Us.”