Bethlehem wasn’t a big town, but it was bursting at the seams as people entered from all over the country to be counted for the census. Imagine a little farm community where the people gathered to do their trading. I suppose some folks camped outside of the town, some probably stayed with relatives and others went to the local inn for a room.
For Mary and Joseph, it had been a tiring journey. The distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem is less than 100 miles, but can you imagine what they endured on that trip? Many say it would have been virtually impossible for a 9 month pregnant woman to travel so far on the back of a donkey. They also claim that because Joseph was a Jew, he would not have allowed Mary to travel with him at this time of her pregnancy.
Mary’s swollen belly was about to give birth and yet she endured the trip, because she knew it was all part of the plan God had laid out. The bouncing over rocky terrain – the ache in her back – the thoughts of having a baby so far from home – it must’ve have weighed heavily on her. Joseph would also wonder how this would turn out. His mind had to be focused on why it had to be this way – his concern for his young wife – his own state of mind – his hope to find a comfortable place for the child to be born
Why did it happen this way? I guess if you knew that you were carrying the Son of God in your womb, and had been told exactly what to do by a Heavenly messenger, you’d follow the directions to the letter. The angel told Joseph what to do and in an act of complete faith, the step-father of Jesus, listened. Mary also must have been in such pain and discomfort, but she leaned on the breath of God to carry her, rather than the animal she sat on.
Lord, I yearn to have such a strong faith. I can’t survive without your assistance and guidance in my life. Please strengthen my trust in you through your Holy Spirit and the birth of your beloved Son. Amen!
My life on this planet is merely a breath.
There isn’t enough time it seems.
No work that I do here will help me face death.
Just the love of the Christ child redeems.