Every Christian knows the story of Jesus' birth. At least they should.
He was born to a virgin who wasn't even married at the time of conception. The long trip to Bethlehem, giving birth in a manger, the detour through Egypt.
But what if Jesus had been born today to a modern, 21st century woman? Imagine it, if you will.
Joseph says to Mary, "By decree of Caesar Augustus, we must travel to Bethlehem to be taxed".
To which Mary replied, "Bethlehem? It's not enough to be taxed, but now we have to take it them?"
"Aren't your parents from Bethlehem? You know that they never have liked me. And you don't believe they ever bought that Immaculate Conception story, do you?"
"Why can't you go alone? Just leave me the credit card and I will be fine".
But Mary goes anyway, only to find out that there is no room at the inn.
"Great! she says. "It is not enough to drag an eight and a half month pregnant woman all this way, but now you tell me I have to sleep in a barn? That's it! Call the airport I am going home. I'll tell you something else, I am not voting for him in the next election."
But soon the baby Jesus is born and people come from all around to praise and worship Him, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
"Frankincense? Myrrh? Where is the cash? Diapers and formula are not cheap, you know. How about if we exchange them for more gold? Mary says.
Finally the time comes for them to leave. Suddenly Joseph tells Mary, "We cannot go home, yet. We must travel to Egypt."
"Egypt? Mary asks. "Why in the world would we want to go to Egypt?"
Joseph answers, "An angel appeared to me in a dream and said that we must flee with our baby Jesus to Egypt."
Mary looks at Joseph, raises her eyebrows, and says, "Let me get this straight. You drag me all the way to Bethlehem, make me sleep in a barn, give birth in a manger, and now you want to take me to a country that we have never been to before, where we do not know anyone or even speak the language, all because of a DREAM? I told you not to eat that tamale before bedtime."
The preceding tale is fictitious and hopefully, somewhat amusing. While we may not know exactly how Mary reacted, we know that she did what she was asked. She did it for the love of her husband, her son, and her God.
Furthermore, she raised and protected the young Jesus as he grew into a man. She cried for Him as He hung from the cross. And being among the first, along with Mary Magdalene, to see our newly resurrected Lord and Savior rewarded her.
Love can make one go to the ends of the earth, but with the tribulations, come great rewards.
Matthew 22: 37-39 says to love the Lord your God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself.
By doing as Mary had done and obeying these two simple commandments, you will reap the rewards on Earth and in Heaven.