A Christmas Story
Joseph was a carpenter. In this story, as Joseph has to take Mary with him to Bethlehem, he asks himself “What kind of carpenter would let his wife, about to have a baby, balance on a donkey for four days’ journey?” The traditional Christmas image has Mary riding a donkey the 70-plus miles to Bethlehem. The Gospel accounts don’t tell us. The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem would take three days, maybe part of a fourth, and when they arrive they find “no room in the inn.” Settling in a stable, Mary gives birth to Jesus, probably very soon. This would indicate she was a few days from delivery when they left Nazareth—all the more reason not to have her perched on a donkey. This story has Joseph the carpenter doing the right thing.