“Now in it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all were proceeding to register for the census everyone to his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register, along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.” ~Luke 2: 1-6
“Hold me up, hold me up!” urged Mary.
Joseph rushed to his wife’s side and did as he was told. What he feared most had happened. This baby was going to be born without aid of mid-wife or his mother-in-law. A prayer was never far from his lips.
Mary held her breath and waited for the pain to subside. The straw-filled stable floor beneath her was becoming more than she could bear. It itched. It was hot. It was sticking to her. The child within her would wait no longer. Mary had felt the pangs of labor all day during their journey. At times, riding upon the small donkey was excruciating and she’d chose to walk. When walking no longer was possible, with Joseph’s help, she’d return to the moist, swayback of the animal and once again endure the jostling ride.
Mary longed for the comforting touch of her mother, but knew that this way was best. The census gave them an excuse to leave home. The timing couldn’t have been better. Except for her cousin, Elizabeth, no one knew of the secret of this child’s miraculous conception. It’s incredibility and un-believability caused Mary to wonder constantly about what kind of birth to expect. Because of her uncertainty, she wanted no one from her family to witness it. Would the angel, Gabriel, attend? Would God, himself, show His face and catch the child in His own arms? Would the sky burst open when the baby drew in his first breath? What would the Son of God look like?
TO BE CONTINUED...