4 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. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. (Luke 2:4-5)
They had no choice in the matter. It was time to return to their ancestral home to be taxed. All people of their land were required by a government command to do so. Joseph’s preparations for such a trip were difficult. After all, it was 65 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem and modes of transportation were limited to walking and riding a donkey. Packed provisions for themselves and their donkey were sparse, barely enough for he and Mary. But in their case, there was the added concern of her pregnancy and imminent delivery. Imagine for a moment traveling that distance by foot or donkey, and her being in such an advanced state of pregnancy. How very challenging. No doubt Joseph was very considerate, helping her as best he could, perhaps even carrying her at times. He treasured her and trusted God’s direction in their life journey together.
What I can’t imagine is Mary ever complaining of her discomfort. She knew that she was divinely anointed and appointed to carry this holy baby boy. She knew that God was going ahead of them and preparing their lodging. Even though so very young, she knew that soon the hope of heaven would arrive through her. What wonderful pondering and joy she had in her heart.
What pondering do you have in your heart this season of waiting?
Are there uncertainties in your journey which you can entrust to God?
This Advent season can you replace any complaints with a calm confidence in God’s love for you?
God of tenderness, bless us each one on our Advent journey, wherever it may take us. May we find your peace along the way, allowing us to perfectly trust you with all our hearts. May we rest assured of your infinite love through the coming of the Christ Child. Amen.