About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant. (Luke 2:1-5 MSG)
Packing, wrapping, and travel these are all traditions we may or may not love about the holidays. Christmas at home, has a quintessential holiday feel about it. The road trip to get there can be an adventure.
After Jared and I first wed we moved 2 states away from the NW. Southern California was our new home. Yet somehow when it came to time to celebrate Christmas we couldn’t stay south. We fueled up the red jetta grabbed food from our poor college stocked fridge and headed north. We were merry and bright with the anticipation and joy of seeing our loved ones and yes seeing winter in her full strength with snow plowed roads and mountain passes. The trip has a warmth of joy in my memory now.
Travel has a way of changing our perspective. The original Christmas travel was enforced as a governmental order decreed convoys of families would leave where they were are head to the place of their families hometown. Plodding “donkey style” in a slow pace Joseph and Mary set out, poor timing Mary might have thought. How could they know it would be predicted that Christ would be born in Bethlehem? They didn’t. They were unaware of the holy purpose of God converging with the orders of Ceasar.
So as you travel, many homeward bound at Christmas let the holy coexist with the unholy. Let the plans of God and men meet up once again.
I saw it happen to me this December. Dear old friends happened to be flying into Maui durning our holiday. I hadn’t seen them in 13 years. Tears, stories, updates in the children there was So much to share. Thankfulness filled my heart as they had a “God” role in my early faith. With so much life having transpired we chatted the night away. Holy days. Holidays.
God is right there in your plans. He was there in the original story working His salvation story into the human story.
Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.
Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good. (Proverbs 16:1-2 MSG)
God’s good is worth welcoming into your holiday. However inconvenient it may seem, Mary and Joseph trusted themselves to God’s story writing ability.
Merry Christmas and Happy Travels, Charity