Jesus is born in Luke 2:1-7:
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
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.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
As if being visited by angels, finding out they were going to be the parents of Jesus Christ, and thus expecting a baby before they were even married wasn't enough excitement for Joseph and Mary...next they have to travel a very long way while Mary is "great with child" to pay taxes! And of course, when they finally get to town after their long long journey, they can't find a place to stay. There is no room for them.
Can you even imagine??? I really can't.
Thinking back to the pregnancy and deliveries of our two beautiful baby boys...I really can't imagine what it would have been like. I remember traveling about 10 hours in our nice comfy car when I was only five months along with our Engineer. I wasn't that "great" with child yet, but I remember that trip.
Even though I rode on a padded seat with air conditioning, I was still uncomfortable for that long of a trip. How in the world did Mary do it? Or Joseph for that matter? Mary was riding on a donkey. That is an uncomfortable ride even when you are not "great" with child. And poor Joseph was, I'm sure, going slowly...taking every precaution. What a long exhausting journey that must have been.
And when they finally got to their destination, there was no time to rest and recover from the trip, because first they had to struggle to find a place to stay, and then before they knew it, Jesus had arrived! What an overwhelming experience! I wonder if Joseph and Mary were worn out from all of the excitement or exhilarated by it? Maybe both!
This is such a well known part of The Christmas Story...but it's also very special. Whether it is your own or someone else's, the arrival of a new baby brings such joy. It's such an exciting time. But for Mary and Joseph they knew their experience was extraordinary. It had been from the very beginning...and yet with the arrival of this precious little baby...they had no idea the blessings and miracles that were still to come!
Meanwhile...out in some fields...there was an amazing show lighting up the sky...soon visitors would be coming to see the new King. I'll give you a sneak peek at that story tomorrow.
But for tonight...I'll leave you with this:
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.