Sunday 11 December 2022

Pause in Advent 3 - Mary's Journey

 One of the books I return to in Advent is 'Art in Advent', a picture and reflection for every day.

Here is Mary, in a picture from the book called 'The Annunciation' painted in 1898 by Henry Ossawa Tanner.

This is my grandmother's version of Mary's journey to Bethlehem;

"Well, I mean to say, here she is, extremely pregnant and the sensible thing would be to stay at home with her mother and let her husband go off to Bethlehem by himself.  I'm sure her mother and the whole family, even Joseph were all trying to persuade her. 

There she is, a young girl, expecting her first child, and nothing will do except she kicks up until Joseph gives in and agrees to take her. She knew her scriptures, of course, and wanted the baby to be born in Bethlehem, her husband’s town, and where the scriptures said the Messiah would be born...

I'm sure she must have had a hard time; the last few weeks of pregnancy are uncomfortable if you've got a good sofa and a soft warm bed, but spending all that time on the back of a donkey... it's no wonder she gave birth soon on arrival..."

My grandmother had such an immensely practical view of all things spiritual. She had been born into the 'pony and trap' era, and knew first hand how hard and uncomfortable travelling over rough, un-made roads could be. 

Later she and her husband hiked together, alone, through parts of Canada in the 1920s, sleeping on the ground, making the best of things. 

Oh yes, she knew.


  1. That's a great time picture. Your gran sounds like she was a great gal!

  2. She was, and also a staunch supporter of the Mother's Union, frequently asked to give talks on a wide variety of topics.

  3. Your grandmother sounds a great lady, full of wisdom.

  4. Yes indeed. I wish I'd known her as a young woman at the beginning of the last century!