2 About this time Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperor, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the nation. 2 (This census was taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3 Everyone was required to return to his ancestral home for this registration. 4 And because Joseph was a member of the royal line, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, King David’s ancient home—journeying there from the Galilean village of Nazareth. 5 He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was obviously pregnant by this time.
Luke 2:1-5 TLB
Where will you be going this Advent season, Dear Reader? Are you off to Christmas programs, open houses, shopping, worship?It can be a little daunting, can't it?
When I think about going, I think about the life changing times when my family has gone. Going halfway across the country to a new life. Going across a college campus after a seventeen year absence. Going across the state toward a new career path. Going across the ocean to see places I'd only read and dreamed about. Going . . .
The very act of going for Mary and Joseph is rich in lessons for us today:
- they were obedient to the demands of their government; (Jesus said to them, “Pay to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Mark 12:17a AMP)
- they seemingly weren't concerned about their comfort; (Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ Matthew 6:31 NASB)
- they were hospitable to the visitors who came to the manger; (Don’t forget to be kind to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Hebrews 13:2 TLB)
- they were flexible when there was no room in the inns. (14 You don't even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears.15 What you should say is this: “If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:14-15 GNT)
We see and hear a great deal about Mary. There's little to learn about Joseph. We don't question God choosing them as individuals.
When I really begin to think about Mary and Joseph going, I begin to see that God surely chose them for more than themselves. It seems that he also chose them as a couple, a team. And after all, going is always better when we go with someone.
Where are you going, Dear Reader? I pray you have godly companionship for the journey, and beyond!