This is my favorite Christmas devotion, so I like to repeat it. It reminds me that as we enter the new year we should physically carry the Gospel into all the world.
An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up. Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.” Matthew 2:13
During the Christmas season the African children in the village acted out the nativity story. Each of the children brought the props they had at home. They carried clay jars and colorful robes. They brought goats and sheep for the stable.
But no one had a donkey. They believed Mary rode one to Bethlehem.
The children didn’t look around and ask each other, “How will we get Mary to the stable without a donkey?” An older boy stepped forward and dropped to his hands and knees. Mary climbed onto his back, and he carried her across the courtyard, down into Bethlehem and to the manger.
At the end of the play the shepherds, angels and wise men departed. Joseph and Mary, holding baby Jesus, were left alone in the manger. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up. Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.” Matthew 2:13
Again without any prompting another boy came forward. He dropped to his hands and knees to be the donkey. Mary took baby Jesus and tied him to her back African-style. Then she climbed onto the back of the boy playing the donkey. Together they went down into Egypt.
The momentum of the drama never stopped. The children did what needed to be done to get Jesus into Egypt.
As they went down the path, the boy, acting the part of the donkey, symbolically carried the Gospel, baby Jesus into another land.
Christ the Lord, our Savior is born. Let’s be the ones, the servants, the beasts of burden who carry the message of Christ into the world.