Walking to Bethelehem, 1890, Fritz von Uhde
We are now very close to the moment of Christ’s birth, accompanying Mary and Joseph in the final steps towards Bethlehem. This image by Fritz von Uhde is perhaps not exactly what we expect when we picture the journey to Bethlehem. There is no donkey and the couple seem dressed in the clothes of nineteenth-century peasants, rather than those from the Middle East two thousand years ago. But this disruption of our expectations reminds us of the ordinariness of Mary and Joseph, through whom God did something so extraordinary. It reminds us also that God is at work in the very ordinariness of our own lives and that He chose to draw close to us in the very normality of our humanity.