Joseph and Mary departed on their journey from Nazareth. They would have crossed the mountains though Cana to the southern shores of the Sea of Galilee. Many others would have been traveling this same route. It was safer to travel in groups to avoid robbers. While there seems to be a donkey in many Christmas stories the bible does not mention one. The road would be long and hard and even once they reached Bethlehem they would not find the most gracious environment. There were no rooms at the inn to rest. The inns of these days were nothing like the hotels or motels of today. It was simply an outdoor walled off place with bit of shelter. The stable where Jesus was born was likely a cave that housed animals. The humbleness of all of this makes a tear come to my eye as I sit here and think how my King Jesus was born in a lowly stable and his birth and what Mary his mother experienced.
Have a traveling to Bethlehem night. I found this on the blog Having Fun at Home.
Imagine that you are part of those at the first Christmas that have traveled to Bethlehem to pay your taxes. What would it have been like?
Remember, everyone was traveling back to their homes to pay taxes and be counted. Joseph and Mary had an even harder journey as she was expecting child. Hot, sweaty, dirty and maybe even cool nights they traveled through it all. The only foods available as they were traveling were those that needed little prep or heat Foods such as figs, dates, olives, goat cheese, nuts, grape juice and dried meat may have been on the list of what they had available.
It was also very dark I can well imagine. Turn off all the lights and use only candles and lanterns. See how dark and quiet it is?? More than likely it also all brings the family together near the light. Read the Christmas story from the Bible by candle light. Sing some Christmas songs and share old memories. The night is always one that we talk about all year long
For supper Joseph and Mary may have dined on a meal with fish as it was plentiful in those days. Cauliflower and broccoli may have accompanied the fish. Dried and fresh fruit were often served at meals during biblical times. Bread was another item that was served along side every meal. It would be fun to serve the family a meal similar to the one Mary and Joseph may have dined on that holy night.