What I imagine the conversation between Mary and Joseph before the trip to Bethlehem was like
“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.”
People say that it was about a three-day trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem. On a good day. I can say with great confidence that traveling with an eight-months pregnant woman in not traveling on a “good day.”
And this is not meant as a slight against The Beautiful Bride or other women, it is merely a fact that women who are great with child requite a greater amount of time. And rest stops. And well, everything…
So I am equally certain that it was with great trepidation that Joseph began the conversation.
“So Mary…how you feeling? I’m sure you’ve heard about decree. Oh you haven’t heard about the decree…? Cause you’re busy being pregnant with God’s Son so you don’t have a lot of time to read decree’s. Fair enough. Well any-who…it seems that Caesar Augustus has issued this decree that everyone has to register for the census…Right…well…not exactly…see here is where it gets interesting. Cause you have to register in your hometown. And (he starts talking very fast here) since I am from the line of David and so forth we need to go to Bethlehem. Right now. Yes I know you’re pregnant and you could have the baby any day. OK…I’ll check the decree and see if there is any fine print about where maybe Caesar Augustus said that ‘for any woman who is about to have a baby they can just stay at the house…’ yeah, I’ll go check the decree for that.”
Fast forward a few hours…
“Uhm…yeah…I checked the decree and there is really nothing about pregnant women not having to go, so I guess we’ll just…yes I know you’re eight months pregnant and no we do not want to have a baby in the middle of no where…but what am I supposed to do? I’ll take care of all the details and packing and we’ll be ready to go in the morning.”
With no other option,Joseph begins to pack for the week long journey.
Donkey with the most padding? Check.
More blankets? Check.
BBQ chips and pickles? Check.
Hotel reservation in Bethlehem? Uh-oh….