Tuesday, December 21, 2010
It was approximately eighty miles, a week's journey, from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
Joseph may have looked with concern at Mary, her womb extended, and wondered how insane it was to start on a trip now. A trip that would be long and hard for anyone, but for a pregnant woman, it would be almost unbearable.
Joseph was a law-abiding citizen. His family, all the way back to David, had been honorable. Joseph knew that he and Mary and the King inside her must travel to Bethlehem to register and pay taxes.
Several nights on the cold ground. Walking or riding a donkey for hours on end. Eating whatever could be packed in a bag thrown over the donkey's back. It was no vacation.
I imagine Joseph covering her with blankets at night, tucking them close to keep out the cold. Bringing her water, rubbing her tired feet. Whispering encouragement among the night sounds that it wouldn't be much longer, surely there would be a warm room and a comfortable bed for them in Bethlehem.
Mary, her back aching, the Child pressing against her ribs, tried to get comfortable. She contemplated the things that had happened and knew her life would never be the simple life of a carpenter's wife. She knew her son would be Savior. She knew He would change eternity. Was she scared, or did God's perfect peace surround her? She watched the night sky with the new bright star and wondered.
Legions of angels surrounded their small campsite. It wouldn't be long now.
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. Luke2:4