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Sharing the Story of Mary and Joseph and their Journey of Faith

Donkey Ride

Everyone is traveling

coming near and far

to register in Bethlehem

orders from Caesar.

Taxes are required

people must pay

Mary climbs upon the donkey

Joseph leads the way.

Many days of walking

hunger, thirst and sweat

Joseph always worries

is it Mary’s due date yet?

The parents are frightened

faith will see them through

God’s plan for the birth of Jesus

is to save me and you.

Joseph is leading the donkey with Mary riding sidesaddle. The Bethlehem star shines in the distance


Have you ever taken a long trip that will take days to get to your destination? What planning was involved? What provisions did you have to take? Did anyone get frustrated when you tried to pack everything into an already crowded vehicle? What about directions? Who oversees the navigation? Will you take turns leading the way? Don’t forget food for the trip. Will you have enough?

It all takes careful planning and patience. Joseph and Mary had limited options. Their mode of transportation was a donkey and provisions needed to be minimal. It was essential that the donkey be well fed and cared for on this long trip as well. There may have been dangers along the way including wild animals, blazing heat, and directionality mishaps. Its not like there were street signs along the way.

Joseph and Mary were not going on a vacation. They had to return to Joseph’s place of birth, Bethlehem to pay their taxes. Today we just write a check and drop it in the mail. Not only did every citizen have to return to the city but the limited accommodations would not meet the demand of the out-of-town guests.

Have you ever taken a driving trip and hoped to stop at a hotel only to discover it was booked and you had to continue going despite being tired and hungry? If so, you can relate to Mary and Joseph’s situation. However, they had a bigger challenge for Mary was due any minute. I’m sure most women nine months pregnant are uncomfortable with physical movement and could not imagine riding a donkey for days in that condition. Unfortunately, this young couple had no choice in the matter.

Panic sets in as Mary’s contractions begin. Banging on door after door their attempts to secure an accommodation are futile. Frightened and desperate, Joseph will do anything to protect his wife and unborn child. When a stable is made available, their response is one of praise to God for His protection and provision.

How do we feel in a situation that appears to be out of control? Do we “let go and let God” deal with it or do we cave and respond with frustration, anger, inconsolable weeping, and sadness? Remember God is always in control and we need to trust him with our lives and circumstances. When we do, we discover peace.

Luke 2:1-20

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

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