And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. ~Luke 2:4-6
For first-time parents, the anticipation of the firstborn baby coming can be nerve wracking. As the mother feels the contractions getting stronger and the minutes between contractions gets fewer, they know the reality of the baby coming “at any moment” is very real and soon. On this Christmas Eve, let us pause to reflect on how the thought of Jesus’ birth at any moment impacted Mary and Joseph.
We see the government MANDATE.
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.” Mary was in the last few weeks of her pregnancy, and both she and Joseph were required to make a long trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the Roman census. Can you imagine they may have thought, “Why do we have to make this long trip now?” “The baby could come at any moment!” However, God makes no mistakes! In spite of what appeared as a hardship, God gave them grace, protection, and enablement to make this journey. God was in control, and this would be part of the process leading to the Christ-child birth.
We see the gifted MUNICIPALITY.
“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:).” Years before, the prophet Micah prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Though it was a small and obscure town, it would become renowned as the birthplace of our Lord. How fitting that the Lord Jesus would be born where David had his roots. How fitting our Lord would make His arrival at a place known as “the house of God.” For this little city, the Lord could come at any moment!
We see the godly MAIDEN.
“To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.” Mary was at the point where she could give birth at any moment. Each step she made on this long journey had to be grueling and tough. She could have had swelling and become exhausted easily. Joseph may have had to stop often to let her rest. Both of them probably grimaced at each other and thought, “The baby could come at any moment.” Yet, in spite of the difficulty, she was endued with such grace! She did not complain! She did not whine! She did not regret for one moment that she was chosen of God to bring forth the Son Who would save the world!
We see the grungy MANGER.
Many others made their way to Bethlehem for the Roman census. As a result, all the available hotel rooms were taken up. There were no vacancies, and no one had compassion to help an expectant mother with lodging. The thought came to Joseph that the only place available for them to rest and where Mary could give birth with some privacy would be in a grungy stable located in a side cave. As they surveyed the humble, grungy stable, the thought that kept recurring for them was, “The child could come at any moment!” They accepted this humble setting and had faith in God that everything would turn out all right.
We see the glorious MISSION.
As we consider everything that led to the night before Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph knew God was in control, God loved them, and everything would work out. They were filled with joy that the baby could come at any moment! God’s mission became their mission! The One Who would save His people from their sins would be arriving at any moment.
Jesus came and what a glorious night that was! He’s coming again for us. He could be coming at any moment. Don’t be blindsided by the inconveniences and setbacks in life. Just remember that He could come at any moment!
Have a Christ-filled God Morning!