The church down the road puts on a ‘Road to Bethlehem’ journey every year. I had heard that is was great but we haven’t made it there the last 4 years we have lived here. Last night, we ate, threw the kids in their pj’s and drove down to take a trip to Bethlehem.
The kids were excited, “Are we going to see Mary and Joseph?”
“Are we really going to Bethlehem?”
“Will the donkey be there?”
“Isn’t it a long way?”
We got our free tickets, lined up and Adley took a camel ride before it all started, then it was our time to head towards Bethlehem to be counted for the census.
Adley had his best friend Jacob with him and I did wonder if he would get involved in the journey or if we would spend the night telling Adley to stop playing and listen…I didn’t need to worry about that long. Adley, the curious child that he is, started out by asking our guides if they were pretending to be Mary and Joseph….which they answered very politely with “no, but we are on a long journey, who knows who we will meet”.
It was on through the market, stalls and people yelling (thankfully missing the smells that would’ve been around in the day!) and through to King Herod. We heard the wise men talking to King Herod about a new King and King Herod’s plans to kill all the babies. Without a second to lose, Adley jumped up, in front of the other 60 or so people journeying with us and yelled,
“Quick! We have to save the baby!!!” and out he ran! He had many laughing at how genuine he was.
On we journeyed to the shepherds, Adley stopping to ask them if they had seen an Angel and if they were in fact shepherds? Then we got to bear witness to the angels telling the shepherds of the birth of a Saviour.
We continued along the road to the gates of Bethlehem, being met by Centurion soldiers and a couple of beggars.
The soldiers yelled at the beggars to move on which sent Nevaeh bursting into frightened tears and Adley up on his feet begging his friend who had a wooden sword to get the soldiers so we could save the baby! By this stage the others with us were marvelling at the seriousness of my little people! (Nevaeh settled down when I explained that the soldiers were pretending just like she pretends to be a mummy!)
On we went, we met up with the wise men again (and a donkey) then through to a stable where a mum and dad cradled a very gorgeous and sleepy baby Jesus.
The whole night was marvellous and the ‘story’ that my kids, like many other church going kids, know back to front was lived out in real life for them…and in our case, it was made very real for them!
Finding that balance can be difficult between enjoying the Christmas season and all the gifts, food, shopping and family that it brings along with remembering that Christmas is about a journey that started out by a young couple on the road to Bethlehem, and a birthday of a little baby who was destined to teach us how to live the best life possible and share the Love of God with the world.
I have had a great time this year checking out pinterest and creating an advent calendar where we have done a different activity every day, some easy like reading some christmas stories and others where we take a more active role, writing to our sponsor children or acting out the nativity story ourselves (I can’t wait for that one after last night!)
I hope as the last couple of weeks till Christmas are now upon us, I can get past the madness and enjoy the celebration of a baby who has changed my life.
The kids finished up making some swords with Rick to fight the soldiers and save the baby! (I wonder how long these will last until someone gets hurt???)