Arrival at Bethlehem

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Census at Bethlehem, 1566


In one of my favorite paintings for this time of year, we find the Holy Family arriving at Bethlehem just at sunset on what might have been Christmas Eve. Mary on a donkey, in the center foreground, is led by Joseph toward what appears to be a crowded inn, a likely location for where the census was taking place. (See Luke 2:1-7.)

We approach this holy feast time like Mary and Joseph, with anticipation, yet not fully aware of the glory that is to be revealed to us.

May our Lord, who was and is, and is to come, bless us and our loved ones during this holy time.

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