Journey To Bethlehem

Chandler Nazarene Children's Messages

Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem to register for the Roman census. That means that they were counting all of the people that lived in a specific area. They had to go to Bethlehem because they were descendants of King David and that is where they had to register to pay taxes.

Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth, so they had to walk somewhere between 70 to 90 miles to go to Bethlehem since there were 2 possible routes. This journey would have taken about four to ten days. It was a long trip, but Mary and Joseph were much more used to walking than we are today.

The Bible story does not actually mention a donkey, but it is fun to think that they may have had help with the journey…especially Mary, since she was pregnant.

Journey to Bethlehem – Family Activity

There is a popular Christmas activity called “Elf on the Shelf,” in which a small elf is moved daily around a younger child’s classroom or in the home–something to celebrate the excitement of the Advent season.

Why not take this idea and make it ours? In the true meaning of expectation and anticipation during the Advent season, let us remember that we are moving closer and closer to Bethlehem each day. Choose the Mary and Joseph figurines from your own Nativity set and display them in your home. As you see them and move them each day, ponder the journey they were taking during those dark days of anticipation long ago. Allow the visual reminder to be a cue for you to anticipate the unbelievable gift of God! You might want to designate a special place in your home to be the final resting place of Bethlehem and move Mary and Joseph closer to it each day.

Use the links below to download a nativity background and a coloring page. If you don’t have figurines at home, make your own Mary and Joseph and take them on the journey to Bethlehem.

PARENTS/GUARDIANS: Send us photos of the fun places they visit before arriving at the Bethlehem stable. Photos can be emailed to or you can share them on Facebook or Instagram using them with #ccnchristmas2021 and tag @chandlernazarene (FB) or @chandlernaz (IG).

More Fun:

Watch this fun video about the “bumpy” journey to Bethlehem. Click here to find the lyrics so you can sing along.

Watch this Christmas story acted out by kids, just like you!