How Close Are You to the Christ Child?

How Close Are You to the Christ Child?


So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
Luke 2:4-5, NIV

Map_Holy_LandchelHow far is it from Nazareth to Bethlehem? About 100 miles. Not far by car or tourist bus. Pretty far by foot. Very far if you’re nine months pregnant.

Did you know there’s no biblical evidence that Mary, the mother of Jesus, rode a donkey? Chances are good that she walked. Ever since my first child was born on December 20, I’ve claimed Mary’s trip to Bethlehem ranks as one of the great miracles of the Bible!

In addition to physical barriers, Mary also had to overcome cultural barriers. Nazareth was in Galilee while Bethlehem was in Judea. And travelers to Judea usually went around Samaria to avoid the half-breeds who were detested by the Jews.

Mary had to overcome gender issues. She would have as her “midwife” a man with whom she’d never been intimate. How embarrassing! How frightening, as well. Would she not have welcomed a female companion, especially one who had given birth before?

In her willingness to be God’s servant (Luke 1:38), Mary overcame all of these barriers. She gave birth to the Christ child, heard his cries and coos, and wrapped his little body to keep him warm—for your sake and mine. Then she rested—the King of Kings nestled at her side.

How far are you from the living Christ? What barriers do you have to overcome to keep Him near and dear at your side? What obstacles keep Him away? Perhaps, like me, your degree of closeness to Jesus may have more to do with distractions than physical distance.

Resolve this Christmas Eve to put all else aside and welcome Christ—anew and afresh—into your heart today.