December 10, 2021
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. […] And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child” (Luke 2:1-5).
Mary, who was about 14 was betrothed to Joseph. As you remember, She was told by the angel Gabriel that through the spirit of God she would bear a child that would be the son of God, she & Joseph were to name him Jesus & He would be the saviour of the world. You would think this would be a lot to absorb, but we do not hear anything in the bible except “And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed. Also, Mary sang a song of praise to God.
Do you like to travel? I love to go to new places and see new things. I was pregnant when my family moved to Florida. Roger & I had the task of driving dad’s car and horse trailer down to them. We laugh now, but that trip was the stuff nightmares are made of. It was Easter weekend and when we decided to stop for the night, there was “no room at the Inn” any place along the expressways. We searched for a couple of hours to no avail. So we slept in the car a few hours and continued on. I won’t share the rest of this story today. Although funny, it has NOTHING to do with the Christmas story. But I will say that while thinking of how uncomfortable I was trying to sleep in the back seat of a car, I can only imagine how uncomfortable Mary must have been. That last few weeks of pregnancy is hard on a body, muscles ache and you are extra tired without having to make a trip like this.
Since the bible doesn’t tell us much about the journey itself, I tried to do a little research. Now, I believe that the bible tells us everything we really need to know on all subjects that God wants us to know, BUT I wanted to present a picture of the journey so that we would have an idea of what this young, pregnant couple might have gone through to be faithful to God.
I learned that it was winter and very cold. It was about a 90 mile trip and some say that because she was with child, they may have only traveled 10 miles a day. The average person, not pregnant, traveling the rough terrain, usually traveled about 20 miles a day. They were not really roads but very rough paths and hard to walk on, hilly and uneven. The journey was known to be dangerous, with robbers, and the surrounding areas had bears and lions. Now, possibly, this trip took 8 or 9 days. They would have had to camp at night, in the cold, with all manner of danger about them. Then start again the next day.
I know that we have always pictured Mary on a donkey for this trip, but no where in scripture does it say that she rode a donkey or any other beast. So, chances are, she walked. I believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God and that He inspired every word. Every word that NEEDED to be there and not any extras. So while we are contemplating the amazing events leading to the miraculous birth, let’s think of the details. This was no easy trip for Mary or Joseph. The fact that they made it safely to their destination shows that God was with them. Today, as we face the challenges of our daily life, lets remember. Remember the obedience of Mary and Joseph. Remember the faith, remember the hardships. God gave them a monumental task. The salvation of the entire world depended on it. God will probably never give you or I a mission like this, but He does promise to be with us always and forever. Thank you today Lord God, for the incredible birth of our savior. Thank you for the forgiveness of our sins and our salvation brought about by this tiny baby. Amen!