“But it occurred in those days that a command also went out from Augustus Caesar that every nation* of his empire would be registered. This census was the first in the government of Quraynus in Syria.” ~ Lk 2:1-2
There is a story – a holy story whispered and then written about 2000 years ago. A story about a man and a woman on a journey. One weary step after another weary step. 80 miles for a census that they had to do – not wanted to do. A mandate.Foreign laws enforced. Foreign ways demanded.. Leaving home – not knowing that they would not see home -family – friends – possessions for several years.
In those days, such a journey was not an easy one. Grumbling companions who were also compelled to travel far away. Bandits taking advantage of stragglers. Wild animals,lions and bears and snakes, – oh my – made the journey perilous even to those traveling in a group – – – let alone a very pregnant woman..
These were not ordinary times. These were times full of fear beyond the everyday uncertainties. A conguered people had much to fear. Roman demands. Violence. Fear. Sorrow. Racial tension. Religious biogotry. Terrorism. And a baby – a baby coming any day.
“And everyone was going to be registered in his own city. But Yoseph had come up from Nazareth, a city of Galilee, to Judea to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and from the lineage of David” ~Lk 2:3-4
When I read this holy story, I remember that Mary and Joseph had something much deeper than many of their fellow travelers. I wonder if their fellow travelers sensed something special about the pregnant lady and her doting husband? Did friends and family rest a little more comfortably when they camped beside them – or shared stories at the end of a day’s travel?
Maybe it is just me, but there is something special about people who know the LORD. The LORD shines through them and out into every molecule that touches them. A vibration that bumps and grows and radiates with each encounter. This holy couple carried the LORD for 9 months – facing each new decision together and now – were in the final days before His entry into the physical world – into a tiny stable where the dirt and vermin and animals lived and excreted daily.
The journey continues for us. One step after another and at the end of our path – if we are wise enough to seek Him – the LORD will be born spiritually into our lives. It doesn’t matter how filthy or filled with evil we have been – He will come to those who ask just as He physically came to those who welcomed Him into their arms so long ago and sang Him a tender lullabye.