Of course, the wise men were not the only people on a journey to Christmas. Let’s take a moment and visit a young couple struggling along a dirt pathway from Nazareth to the little burg of Bethlehem. The journey would have taken several days on foot, and there is no indication in the Bible that a donkey was available to Mary and Joseph.
We really aren’t told how long their journey was, but if you’ve traveled with an expectant mother before you know that several “pit stops” along the way would be necessary. But this journey was significant, perhaps far more than they knew.
Outwardly, the trip was mandated by Rome. More taxes… new taxes were required by the occupying government. Pregnant or not, taxes must be paid and a “head count” was not a thing they could opt out of. So they traveled from their humble home in Nazareth to the “little town of Bethlehem.” And in so doing, they fulfilled an ancient prophecy spoken by Micah in 5:2, that said this is where Messiah would be born.
Sometimes we are right where God wants us when we least expect it. I doubt that they were studying Scripture by candlelight late one night and suddenly read that prophecy… thinking, “We’ve got to get to Bethlehem!” It was just the course of events that moved them… and moved them right into the center of the will of God at that!
And even when God’s “providence” in our lives seems bitter or difficult, He is still working the full counsel of His will in us. On that day as they walked with wearying steps to the manger, life seemed harsh perhaps… even bleak. But Mary was about to birth the Light who would come into the world.
No matter the journey you’re on this Christmas, it too will end in light. Eternal light that will make every step worthwhile, if you trust God on the path.
“And you, Bethlehem Ephratha, though small among the tribes of Judah, from you will come for Me One who will be ruler over Israel, Whose origin is from old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2
Father in Heaven, we all are on a journey today. Some find the pathway wearying and hard. Please remind us in this season that our steps are ordered by You, and the end will be in Your timing abundant in blessing and rich in glory as You bring Light through us in the darkness. May we walk obediently as we wait for that glory to be revealed as Your will is done. In the Name above every name we pray, the Name of Jesus, Amen.