"1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all [a]the inhabited earth. 2 [b]This was the first census taken while [c]Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 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, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a [d]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
Now, you have to think about this. Joseph had to go to Bethlehem to be taxed because it was the home of his fathers. This is where is family hailed from--this is where the relatives are.
Yet, when he and his pregnant wife arrived, there was no room for them in the inn. Well, did you ever wonder, why were they trying to find an inn? Why didn't a relative take them in?
Could it be that many knew of the circumstances of the marriage. I can imagine that it was whispered about...even talked loudly about at the family get togethers. Wouldn't it be all the chat in the ladies group...as something to "keep in prayer?" I'm sure many eyes rolled...because everyone knew better and decided that Mary and Joseph had sinned.
This wouldn't be a first. Look at Job's friends. His buddies stop by not to see if they can assist, not to offer funds or medical aid, but to ask what sin he has committed.
As we have walked this journey, we have learned that people can be very judgmental. It's human nature. There are those who wonder what a person does to bring cancer on themselves. There are those who question why this decision or that decision was made medically, financially, whatever. The experience we have had is the same for most of our friends with cancer. For the most part, you learn to overlook the gossip, the lack of grace--the lack of understanding. But as the pastor on Sunday, spoke about Mary, and about her walk with the Lord...I realized that she walked that long journey totally alone, with only her God and her husband beside her. And I really began to realize just how much my God DOES understand the journey I have been on.
If only those around Mary and Joseph had remembered their past character, and realized that these two people did not just fall from grace overnight. Perhaps, there was more to their story than prying eyes could see. Just perhaps, God was working a miracle. Perhaps, He was very much in control. Sad really, as those that missed the blessings were not Mary and Joseph. It was those who chose to turn their backs on the couple--and instead, the blessings of welcoming the new baby Jesus to the earth were shephards...who were of ill repute and lowly.
Isn't it amazing how God works?