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?