The Third Sunday of Advent

Luke 2:4

So Joseph also 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.

We can only imagine the impact of the journey to Bethlehem for Joseph and Mary. It was approximately ninety miles south of Nazareth to Bethlehem. They would have probably traveled along the flatlands of the Jordan River, turned west over the hills surrounding Jerusalem, and then on into Bethlehem. Most likely, they went no more than ten miles a day due to Mary’s condition. It would have been a grueling trip. Winter in the Judean desert was cold and rainy, treacherous trails and roads would have been hard to maneuver, and desert pirates or wild animals might have added extra danger. They possibly carried bread and water with them because food would have been scarce.

What did they talk about as they traveled? Did they have questions about the child Mary was carrying? Did they speculate how their lives would change? Were they fearful? We do not know the answers to these questions or many others that could be posed. But we do know one thing—Joseph and Mary were obedient. God called them to be a part of his eternal plan, and they accepted.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born… (v. 6).