--- Mary’s Journey to Bethlehem ---
As the Christmas season approaches, we reflect, with fondness, the stories we’ve known since childhood.
The Manger, the Star of Bethlehem, the Three Wise Men…all stories well known, and all well told.
We know of the journey Mary and Joseph took from Nazareth to Bethlehem, but few know of their experiences along the journey-
Joseph knew that the trip to Bethlehem would be long and difficult. Having Mary with child made matters even worse.
Fortunately, Mary had an Ass. She was a fine, healthy, young Ass, and Joseph took comfort in knowing that Mary could ride her Ass, making the journey long journey to Bethlehem possible.
On the morning their trip was to begin, Joseph asked Mary, “Are you ready to go?” and Mary said, “Oh, I don’t know.”
With that, Joseph said, “Then I will decide, and we shall go.”
Collecting their few meager possessions, and with hardly any money, Joseph took Mary, and sat her upon her Ass. And they did go to Bethlehem.
As they walked, Joseph quietly worried about how they were going to eat as the journey continued. He was acting on faith as never before. And they had very little money.
After many hours, Joseph and Mary came upon a traveler going to Nazareth. “Hello” said the traveler as they met. “Hello” said Joseph. The traveler said, “I’m going to Nazareth.” And Joseph said, “We’re going to Bethlehem.”
The traveler noticed Mary, and that she was with child, saying, “That is a long journey, are you sure you can make it?” With that, Joseph said, “Mary has a fine, young Ass, and she will take Mary to Bethlehem.”
This made the traveler take a closer look at Mary’s Ass. Saying, “I believe you. That is a fine Ass.” Then the traveler asked Mary, “I love Asses, may I touch your Ass?” and Mary said, “Oh, I don’t know.” The traveler replied, “I would very much like to feel your Ass.” As Mary and the traveler talked, Joseph had an idea, saying to the traveler, “I will let you touch Mary’s Ass, for one piece of Silver.” Smiling, the traveler agreed, and gave Joseph the money. Joseph was very happy. Now they would eat that night. The traveler stepped over to Mary and her Ass. Mary got off her Ass so the traveler could see her Ass better. The traveler knew Asses very well, and Mary’s Ass was a fine one. He stroked Mary’s Ass, in genuine appreciation. “What a fine, young firm Ass you have.” Said the traveler. “May I climb on your Ass? Mary said, “Oh, I don’t know.” And Joseph said, “You may climb on Mary’s Ass for two pieces of Silver.”
The traveler thought for a minute, then smiled saying, “I think it is worth it to be on such a fine Ass.”
With that, the traveler gave Joseph two pieces of Silver, and then with great joy, climbed on Mary’s Ass.
“This is a very fine Ass.” Said the traveler. “I hope I find an Ass this nice in Nazareth, I will need one for my business.” Then the traveler asked, “May I buy Mary’s Ass?” Mary replied, “Oh, I don’t know.” After a moment Joseph said, “No, you may not buy Mary’s Ass. But when we return from Bethlehem, I will let you use Mary’s Ass for 5 pieces of Silver a day.”
The traveler thought for some time, and then said, “I think this is fair. Mary has the finest Ass in all the land. I will pay you five days in advance as a show of good faith.” The traveler gave Joseph twenty five pieces of Silver, making Joseph and Mary very happy. They thanked the traveler, said ‘goodbye’, and continued on their Journey to Bethlehem, dancing with joy.
The moral of this story? Even if you don’t know anything, a fine Ass will take you far.
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