|The image of parents-to-be Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus is thought provoking. It would have taken between four and seven days to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The nights are cold in Bethlehem, so you can imagine the strain this puts on a very pregnant Mary and Joseph. It was a harrowing journey.
I realized just how cold it can get in Israel when I visited during the holiday season. I was 18 years old and traveled with my grandpa Schuller, who brought 500 people with him! Israel is similar to Southern California in that it rarely rains. However, when it rains, it is considered a blessing from God. I still remember that Christmas Eve. It rained all day and into the night, and hundreds of us stood outside with our umbrellas. Miraculously, right when the Christmas Eve service was about to begin, the rain stopped! This allowed us to move forward to the stage to pray, enjoy the candlelight vigil, and sing songs celebrating the season!
Friend, the timing of this miracle of rain and its sudden halt at the perfect time was such a wonder! Then I thought wow, God is good! This miracle was not a coincidence but was a sign from Him. You can be thankful that Mary and Joseph obediently made the trek to Bethlehem for the birth of our Savior Jesus. As you draw near to Christmas, reflect on the miracle of Jesus coming to the Earth!