Mary cuddled Jesus in her arms. He was such a precious little Baby and she loved Him so much. She thanked God over and over again that she was chosen to be the mother of His Son.
As she held her new Baby, she thought back over the few days before He was born. First, there was the announcement that they would have to go to Bethlehem to pay their taxes. Then, there was the long journey. She had been so tired. Yet she smiled as she thought of how Joseph had worried so much about her.
* * * * *
"Mary, would you like to stop and rest?" Joseph asked. "I know how tired you must be."
"No, Joseph. I'll be fine. I know you want to stay in Bethlehem tonight. Is it much farther?"
''A little farther, my dear. We should be there before dark," he replied.
"Oh, I'm so glad," sighed Mary.
The journey had been long and hard. Many travelers had passed them today. Silently, Mary sat on the donkey, thinking of the Child soon to be born.
"There's the city now," shouted someone, pointing excitedly. In the distance was the town of Bethlehem.
"Joseph," Mary cried, "look at all the people! The city is so crowded! Will we be able to find a place to stay?"
Joseph squeezed her hand. "God will provide shelter for us tonight. Come, I will ask the watchman at the city gate."
Pushing his way through the crowd, Joseph spoke to the keeper of the gate. "Sir, do you know of a place where my wife and I could stay tonight?"
The keeper answered him rudely, "Sir, are you crazy or blind? There is not a room left in the city. You had best go up on yonder hill and camp."
Joseph looked at Mary with concern. "Come, let us go on into the city. I will ask for a room myself."
Each inn they came to was full. Joseph prayed silently to God for help.
"Sir," he said as he hurried to yet another innkeeper's door, "do you have a room for my wife?"
The innkeeper shook his head sadly. "No, I'm sorry. My inn is completely full, but ... "
* * * * *
Mary remembered how thankful they were when the innkeeper told them, "We have a shelter with a manger where we keep a few animals. It's not fancy, but it's warm. Would you like to stay there?"
It was there that this precious Baby was born. Looking down into His tiny face, Mary whispered, "Jesus, I'm so glad God sent You to live with us and be our Iittle boy."
One of the joys of the Christmas season is sharing with others our feelings regarding the birth of the Savior to the world. This lesson records the marvelous event, and your activities this week can help your child share in the anticipation.
Let him make potato-print cards for special friends or family members. Begin by having him cut white paper into sizes that make nice Christmas cards. Cut a potato in half, and draw a simple Christmas design on the potato, such as a bell, candle, holly leaf, or star. Carefully trim away around the design. (You will want to assist with this part or supervise carefully.)
Use ink pads of various colors, or tempera paint. Let your child print with the potato by pressing it on the ink pad, then stamping the design on the card. Let the child choose what words to print on the inside of the card.