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Mary went with Joseph on the trip to do the census in the town of Bethlehem.
She didn’t have to go as she was not ‘his’ wife, and the custom was for families to be counted.
[Luke 2: He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.]
Our Pastor said today there were a few ‘ideas why’ she went with him.
Joseph was told by the Angel to name the baby Jesus.
If he had gone on without her the baby might have been born before he got back; and his name might not have been ‘chosen to be Jesus.’
Being young the ‘family’ might have chosen a different name for him.
The other idea was she was so far along Joseph didn’t feel right about leaving her alone, so he took her with him to be close to her.
Another idea was to protect her; for to be pregnant without being married would be cause for her to be stoned.
He was saving her life by taking her with him and walking with her on the road together.
The other idea was he had to follow the ‘direction given’ for them to have a baby in a manger, fulfilling the prophecy written.
[6-7 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn.
She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel there.]
Remember this is in the middle of a census which would mean many rooms would be full and many homes not available.
We often remember the ‘story’ of Joseph going door to door asking for a room, and the Innkeeper saying, “there in no room in the inn.”
We don’t really know if that actually happened or if it has been a story passed down just to make it more interesting.
I also read somewhere that if he was to meet family on his side they might have not been accepting of her, since they were not married.
What we do know, Mary and Joseph were to have their little baby in a quiet little stable among the sheep and cows.
Maybe after being with Elizabeth Mary had an idea of what to do during birth, she might not have had a midwife help her.
I am not sure if they tore the donkey’s blanket and made it a swaddling cloth for the baby.
Perhaps they had brought a few baby things, just in case they would need it, before leaving on this road trip.
We are not told about conversations between the two of them, or the discomfort Mary had felt while traveling this ‘long journey.’
Anyone who has ever been expecting knows and understands this would be a very long hard road for her.
Whether she walked part of the way or rode the donkey the whole time, it was not easy or comfortable.
We don’t know many things about this Christmas story, but we do know, it was planned and it was supposed to take place.
In the little town of Bethlehem, so that scripture could be fulfilled.