A voice is being heard in the market square, Caesar Augustus has issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. Each person needs to go to his own town to register.
As the crowds gathered to hear the message being proclaimed Joseph stood near the end of the market listening. It was really interesting times; this would be the first census that will be taking place while Quirinius is governor of Syria.
Standing listing to the conversations of the people in the street at the Market Place, Joseph turned around and headed back home. He needed prepare for their long trip from Nazareth in Galilee to Judea. He walked over to Mary and they sat down under the tree in the back yard.
“Mary how are you my love?” Joseph greeted Mary by taking her hand lovingly into his own, placing a kiss on her hand.
“I am fine, what brings you here this morning?” Mary answered Joseph.
“Caesar Augustus has issued a decree that a census be taken of the entire Roman world and we should return to our own towns to register.” Joseph answered while looking at his beautiful bride to be.
“When do you want to leave? What should I bring with me?” Mary asked
“Take something to wear and bring some bread and fruit, I will see to the rest. Oh, and something warm for the road. It is cold at night. I want to leave this evening.” Joseph said as he stood up and turned to leave.
Mary stood up and walked with Joseph towards the front of the street. People were walking past them. Some had donkeys and others had some carriages with two or four slaves carrying them along. The streets turned into a hive of people as they all were on their way to their towns.
Joseph came for Mary and they walked next to the donkey for as long as Mary could bear the walk. Finally Joseph said “Mary, let me help you get onto the donkey.” She didn't resist and as he helped her up onto the donkey. It was a rocky ride, the stars were shining in the sky above them. The air was crisp and they just started out. Walking with other companions along the road made the trip seem that much easier. Children were running up and down the trail, it seems they never seem to tire and old grannies and grandpas were just walking along quietly. Not saying much as they felt this was a waste of time.
People started move into different directions and Joseph and Mary continued, stopping to rest and refresh themselves they eat some boiled eggs, with bread and raisins. Drinking a little wine and sitting down to relax for a short while, it would be nightfall before they come into the Town of Bethlehem tonight. Joseph is pushing to make it before the gates are closed and hoping they are able to secure a place at the Inn.
Dusk and they were at the entrance of the city Bethlehem. Walking through the gates Joseph let Mary sit on the donkey while he walked over to the guards.
“Good evening” Joseph greeted
“Good evening. How can I help you?” asked the guard
“We are from Nazareth and are looking for a place to stay the evening, my wife is with child.” Joseph said while pointing to Mary sitting on the donkey.
“I can only suggest you speak to Mark, his the owner of the Inn but I know they have no place available. Perhaps he can tell you of someone’s home.” The guard pointed to the Inn and showed Joseph which entrance to use.
After speaking to Mark it was clear that there was space available in the city. Joseph was taken to stalls where Mary came into labour. As the little baby was born something happened in the fields and the shepherds saw the angels.
This evening the Shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks when something wonderful happened. There appeared to them an angel of the Lord it was wonderful as they could see and experience the glory of the Lord that shone around them. “Do not be afraid. I bring good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rest.” When the angels had left and gone into heaven the Shepherds said “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’
They arrived in Bethlehem and found both Mary and Joseph with the little baby who was lying in the manger. They spread the word about the baby and everybody was amazed at the news. Yet Mary treasured up all these things and pondered on them in her heart.
Glory to God and thanks to the Lord Jesus for coming into our world to save each one of us. May this Christmas be a blessing and may you never forget how wonderful the Lord Jesus really is.