UP, UP & AWAY

TO NEW ADVENTURES

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"This Month We Travel Back to the past over 2000 years ago to the day Jesus was born," said Brad as he cranked up the fire under the big colorful hot air balloon. "Wow," said Jamie, "I have always wanted to see baby Jesus." "We must be going to Bethlehem," said Jonathan, "The City of David, where Jesus was born." "That's right," replied Brad, "and you better hold on because we are cutting the ropes now." And off the four adventurers journeyed over ocean, land and sea as they traveled back to the past.

As the balloon came to Judea, Jennifer spotted a pregnant woman riding a donkey with a man walking beside them. "Look down below," yelled Jennifer. "Do you think it could be Mary and Joseph?" "It could be, we are very close to Bethlehem," said Brad, "remember Mary and Joseph were going to Bethlehem for the census. King Augustus Caesar required all people to go back to the city of their birth to get a count of the people, and for them to pay taxes on the things they owned." Jonathan saw a cluster of palm trees and suggested "Let's land our hot air balloon over by the trees, and follow Mary and Joseph." The balloon came to a soft landing, and they tied it down secure. Off they walked down a dusty trail behind the tired couple who were heading to Bethlehem. We could hear Joseph talking to Mary, "We are almost there", We will find a room at the Inn and then you can rest." This would be the night that we remember on Christmas Day.

The sun was setting as we approached the city. A lady greeted everyone just outside the gates. She was dressed in a long brown robe, and she carried a lantern with a candle burning inside. Lanterns filled with oil burned on each side of the city gates. Just inside the gate families were cooking on fires built beside their tents. Storekeepers were keeping their doors open later hoping for additional sales from the crowds in town for the census. The craft shops were busy weaving baskets, and rugs. A potter was spinning her potters wheel creating a beautiful vase made of clay. Carpenters were busy making furniture, and the towns blacksmith was flashing hot metal. A lady was drawing water from a well and poured it in to her jug. We continued to walk through the streets. A Roman soldier was standing guard at the jail, a Rabbi was singing inside the synagod, and down in the tavern at the end of the street, some men were engaged in the usual arguments about prophecy, lost fortunes, and dreams for the future, their tongues loosened by the red wine in their cups.

We passed the tax collector's table where two Roman soldiers stood guard on each side of the tax collector. A man was taxed for three wives, ten children, 5 cows, 8 sheep, and 3 hens. He complaining about the high tax that he had to pay, but his fear of a trip to the towns jail kept his objections to a minimum, and he paid the full amount. Joseph walked past the tax collector, he would take care of the census and taxes tomorrow. He was concerned about his pregnant wife. He walked to the Inn and knocked on the door. The Inn Keeper answered and shook his head, "There is no room tonight at the Inn." "But please," protested Joseph, "My wife is full of child and she is very tired from the long trip." "Well," replied the Inn Keeper, "There is a stable for my animals in the back, you can rest there if you want." "Thank you," Joseph said sadly. He guided his donkey with Mary to the stable, and helped her down. He said, "I am sorry that you must stay here tonight, but maybe tomorrow we will find a room." During the night Mary gave birth to her baby, she wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, (a feeding box for animals). The baby was named Jesus, which is the name given to Mary by the angel before the baby began to grow inside of her.

That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. An angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and suddenly they became very frightened. The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid, because I am bringing you some good news. It will be a joy to all the people. Today your Savior was born in David's town. He is Christ the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel. All the angels were praising God, saying: "Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace to the people who please God." Then the angels left the shepherds and went back to heaven. The shepherds said to each other, "Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened. We will see this thing the Lord told us about." So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph. And the shepherds saw the baby lying in a manger. Then they told what the angels had said about this child. Everyone was amazed when they heard what the shepherds said to them. Mary hid these things in her heart; she continued to think about them. Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything that they had seen and heard. It was just as the angel had told them. (Luke 2:8-20)

"WOW," said Jamie, "that was wonderful. I will never forget what happened tonight." "We better start heading back to our hot air balloon so we can get home before Christmas morning," said Brad. "Christmas will mean more to me from now on!" exclaimed Jonathan. "Me too!" Jennifer replied, "Christmas is exciting just like when Jesus comes in to our Hearts."
And so the four adventurers learned another lesson by traveling back in time in their colorful hot air balloon.

We want to Thank The Burnet, Texas First Baptist Church for sharing their "Main Street Bethlehem" with us. They set up over a block on Main Street to recreate Bethlehem how it was the night Jesus was born. It was during our visit that we came up with this months story. We feel like we actually visited Baby Jesus on the night he was born!

This story is from our book "25 Days of Adventures Just 4 Kids"
Enjoy 25 wonderful Christmas stories Just 4 Kids"
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"O Little Town of Bethlehem." For words to song and history of the writing and composing of this famous Christmas song. Click Here.

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