The Darkest Hour

The Darkest Hour
Image provided by
dangvanchien @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/dangvanchien/

In the story about the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph have to travel to Bethlehem. Most people know this, of course. In many of the paintings, movies and TV shows showing this journey, the scene is one of nighttime.

As most of you know, the shortest day of the year is coming up. In fact, it’s this Sunday, just two days away if you’re reading this post on the day I’ve published it and aren’t too far east of where I am. It’s called the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere (retrieved from timeanddate.com). Here in the central time zone of the U.S., the shortest hour will be at 5:03pm that day. How they, whoever they are, have come up with this time is unknown to me. Probably if someone tried to explain it to me, I’d just get more confused. (I’m not a person of science.)

While I was growing up, my mom and many other adults at the church we attended, theorized that maybe Christmas comes in December because of pagan festival of the sun returning, not because that’s when the Biblical event actually occurred. My mom and the others were saying it was too cold for Mary and Joseph to travel in December. The theory sounded plausible to me at the time and up until the time I moved overseas with Hubby when he was doing active duty in the Air Force. That changed my thinking all together about this.

Being stationed on the Greece island of Crete isn’t all that far away from Israel. I discovered that the climate on Crete was slightly chilly in December, but nothing like most of Europe or the United States. The possibility of Mary and Joseph making their way to Bethlehem in December was not only plausible but probable. It gets pretty hot over there in the summer, so traveling in December would be a much better idea, especially since Mary was pregnant and their mode of transportation was a donkey.

Even though traveling in December would have been better back then, it would mean that much of the journey would be in darkness. If this journey happening in December is true, the paintings, movies and TV shows would be showing the scene correctly then, whether the artists (painters and screenwriters) know it or not.

What do you think about this?

 

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11 Replies to “The Darkest Hour”

  1. I’d always been under the impression our seasons aren’t the same and that the trip in December was plausible. I have no idea how I came to think this, however.

    Merry Christmas, Glynis, and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. I’ll be pushing away from the keyboard early next week until after the New Year. Will be sending out a post about it, possibly Tuesday. Will be cooking up a storm Christmas Eve Day and preparing for our open house that evening for starters.

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    1. All I know is that it’s very plausible these days. When I lived on Crete, there would be one or two snows but I really can’t even call them storms. It was just flaking outside. Mary was in her last month of pregnancy so riding a donkey at any other time for as long as the trip was, would have been too much.

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        1. I do believe that people of today, including myself, are bona fide wimps compared to what people were able to bear back in Biblical times. Of course, when a woman is in her last days of pregnancy, she’s more likely to do a lot of walking. 😛

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          1. Still, I hate to think how hard life really was then, but they only knew one way of living as we do the same now. But I do agree about the wimp part.

            The electricity went off for a couple of hours yesterday from 1:20 p.m. I’m glad I didn’t have anything in the oven.

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            1. I get a little scared when the electricity goes off. I know it’s silly but I’ve always reacted that way. When I was on Crete, there were times the power went off for a short time every day. To say the least, my anxiety level was high.

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  2. Hi Glynis,

    I’ve never given it a whole lot of thought. However, when people in the Midwest comment that our California temps in December just don’t seem like “Christmas” I’ve always wondered to myself if Mary and Joseph were trudging through mountains of snow with their donkey like those we see on the news in Chicago. I highly doubt it, right? lol

    Anyhow, I hope you have a Merry Christmas Glynis – snow or no snow – and a Happy New Year!

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    1. I educated guess (seeing that I’ve live somewhat close to there) is that December is similar to California, south of San Francisco of course.

      According to the weather forecast so far, here in Tennessee it’s supposed to be sunny and dry. Thanks for the cheer. I wish you good tidings too. ❤

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    1. Both my brother and I have always had questions about the accuracy of the Bible. I’m not sure why that is because we both went to church every Sunday growing up and had our 100 Sundays in before the time our kindergarten class was over in the spring so we could get our free Bibles.

      Merry Christmas to you, as well, Jacqui! ❤

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