So Joseph 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. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
We are back in Luke's gospel; back to the detail of the birth itself. Next week we find ourselves in Bethlehem; but first Mary and Joseph must make their way there. I love the fact that Luke in these verses focuses on Joseph, I'm sure it was might hard work for him to get to Bethlehem with his heavily pregnant wife to be. But I can assure you that more than 30minutes in the car is no joke when you're expecting a baby, let alone several days or weeks on the back of a donkey.
Just imagine that! Yes, I really did say days or weeks. It wasn't just around the corner, or even the next town; it was a massive journey across a country and it would have been a long hard slog.
Luke's account of the journey doesn't mention there being no room at the inn until after the birth, but for ease of understanding and chronology I'm including this image here.
So Mary is sore and weary after a long and uncomfortable journey at the late stages of pregnancy. She must have been looking forward to a bed, a proper meal and some time to rest, but no such luck. There was no room at the inn, at any inn, so they took a warm dry place instead, possibly with the animals. I'm guessing just being out of the elements would have been comfort enough, but not exactly what she'd have expected for the labouring of her first born.
Prayer of the day
Father life is not always what we hope for or expect; the journey can be long and tiring and the destination more hostile than comforting. . Today we're reminded that we need to worry less about the how and what, than the why and when as we follow you. Amen.