Mary and Joseph, two young people on the cusp of a new life together, were invited to join the adventure of living for God!
The Journey they took was, at times, long and hard.
They had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem–about 100 miles, walking (Mary probably rode a donkey–which was no picnic, being 8 months pregnant!). There are two possible paths they would have taken–one, about 80 miles, would have been more dangerous, but the other–a bit flatter–would have taken about another 10 miles.
In either case, it would have been a difficult journey, but they said YES to it.
I’m sure there were times on that journey they wondered what was ahead. The probably had some anxiety or fear.
However, they also had the assurance that an Angel of God had appeared to them each separately and told them what was going on–and that the child Mary was carrying was the Son of God! If that was so, then they really didn’t need to worry…after all, God Himself would be interested in bringing Him to the world, so there would be some divine protection!
I wonder if they thought of the prophecy:
Micah 5:2 “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah.
Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.”
Did they realize that the decree of Ceasar Augustus (Luke 2:1-5)was putting them in a position of fulfilling God’s prophecy?
Without that decree, they surely would not have made The Journey to Bethlehem–especially given Mary’s pregnancy!
Yet, there it was: A Roman decree that they had to obey, which brought them to Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth–precisely how Micah had prophesied!
Luke 2:6-7: “And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.”
The Journey was worth it, and it was directed by God, every step of the way. They could trust in Him.
…and so can you!
Bonus: One of my favorite arrangements of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” of all time!