9 Dec 2020
The inspiration for today’s bit of literary diarrhoea is twofold.
Firstly, I have commenced listening to Christmas Carols. I am fully aware that this may be a little early for some people, but my tree is up, the lights are shining at night courtesy of the solar panels, and the stockings are all hung from their hooks on the stair case. Christmas Carol season is alive and well in my house.
My second inspiration is in the form of my daughter-in-law, who is quite definitely pregnant with my second grandson. She is ready to have the baby whenever it decides to come, and would prefer it to be sooner rather than later. Being in the final month of pregnancy, never being able to get comfortable, is not something I’d recommend to anyone. Being in this condition in summer when we are having our first bit of real heat also adds to the enjoyment of the scenario for her.
So let’s put the inspirations together, and whether or not you’re a Christian, I’m sure you’re familiar with the story.
So – Mary, being at a similar stage in pregnancy as my daughter-in-law, gets informed by her husband that we have to make a trip.
Not just any trip, in the comfort of an air conditioned vehicle (in Mary’s case it would have been winter which would have different levels of discomfort). No – this trip is going to be undertaken sitting on the back of a donkey. For days….
A pregnant women at this stage of pregnancy needs to have ready access to bathroom facilities, and a comfortable place to sit for the times when she’s not in the bathroom! Quite frankly, the preferred place in the last month of pregnancy would be a recliner rocker with someone providing a foot massage.
Not perched on a donkey and exposed to the inclement weather.
My googling tells me that the trip undertaken by Mary and Joseph was somewhere between 60-90 miles (all the biblical scholars out there please feel free to provide correct information), and that the trip would have taken four or five days.
I suspect I’d be minus one of my sons if he suggested that his wife join him on a four or five MINUTE donkey ride at this stage of her pregnancy!!!
Gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the baby should have been supplemented with gifts of a padded cushion and a hot pack for the mother.
That trip alone is enough reason for the story surviving a couple of thousand years.