Bethlehem wasn’t a big town, but it was bursting at the seams when people entered from all over the country to be counted for the census. Imagine a little farm community with a small town for people to gather and do their trading. I suppose some people 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.
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 would 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 much 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!.