“Oh they sailed to Bethlehem
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day,
Oh they sailed to Bethlehem
On Christmas Day in the morning”
–I Saw Three Ships
“And everyone went to their own town to register. 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 2:3-5
Although we know ships didn’t actually sail into Bethlehem since it is landlocked, this hymn reminds us of adventure. In this case, an adventure taking Mary and Joseph into Bethlehem. Normally, we see Mary depicted as riding on a donkey, but maybe she was riding a camel (which was nicknamed the “ship of the desert”) Whatever the case may be, Mary was on an adventure that would change her life and the lives of many.
An adventure can be described as an exciting or dangerous experience. The adventure started with Mary and Joseph, then continued with the magi who came to worship Baby Jesus. Later, we have the disciples who dropped their fishing poles and left other jobs to follow Jesus. Everyone who follows Jesus sets forth on the ultimate adventure. It was an exciting one, but a dangerous one for the first followers. However, the result was worth it – eternal life.
When we accept Jesus into our hearts, we choose to travel on this adventure through this life on earth with Him. We aren’t promised a perfect, smooth or easy journey, but we know it will be exciting. There will be moments of calmness like floating on peaceful waters. There will be others that will be treacherous like the roaring seas. However, at the finish line, we too are given the ultimate prize – eternal life.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” 1 Peter 1:8
Lord, thank You for walking with me through all of my circumstances. Thank You for the calm waters and for being with me during life’s storms and roaring seas. May I always remain joyful in the promises You have made. Amen.