“Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38
“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.” Luke 2:4-5
“The heavens declare the glory of God” Psalms 19:1
As we get closer to Christmas, Jesus birthday, I want to introduce to you two people who were very important to the story. Jesus was the Son of God, but when He came to earth as a baby, He needed earthly parents to take care of Him. Mary and Joseph were Jesus’ parents, His earthly mom and dad.
Mary and Joseph were betrothed; that’s an old word that means they were promised to be married to each other. An angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Mary as his wife and that her baby would be the Son of God, so Joseph did. But before Jesus was even born (it wasn’t Christmas yet) Joseph and Mary had to make a long trip to the town of Bethlehem from their town of Capernaum in Nazareth. They had to travel to Bethlehem for a census, an official counting of people. And since Joseph was descended from King David (remember David and Goliath?) they had to go to Bethlehem.
Their journey was about 120 miles. For us today that would only be a few hours in a car, but they had to walk the whole way! They probably traveled with a large group of family and friends that were making the same trip for the census. They had to camp out at night to sleep, so they had to bring their food and tents and…everything. Mary probably rode a donkey that Joseph led as he walked, and their things might be packed on another animal to carry.
As they trekked toward Bethlehem, I’m sure they talked about being Jesus’ parents. I’m sure they were worried, being parents and taking care of a child is hard work. And they were taking care of God’s Son! They had a really big job. They probably prayed a lot and asked for God’s help. Both Mary and Joseph were humble, poor people, but trusted God to guide them as they accepted God’s plan for their lives. His plan that they be the earthly parents of Jesus, God’s Son and our Savior. One of their best “jobs” was to love their heavenly Son.
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas next week, think about Mary and Joseph and how important they were to God’s plan for all us. They were ordinary people that God chose for a special job. And when you thank God for sending His Son, Jesus, to earth for us, don’t forget to thank God for your parents, too. Your parents love and protect and take care of you and teach you good things. And they believe that you are a gift from God.
This week draw a picture of Mary and Joseph as they traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Share your picture with someone. Tell them about Jesus’ parents and then tell them about your awesome parents!
Afterwards you can ask your parents to send your picture by email or Facebook messenger so that everyone can learn about Mary and Joseph, Jesus’ earthly mom and dad. And appreciate their own parents, too!
R.E. and Traveler enjoyed the snow! They can’t wait for Christmas either.