The Nativity Experience | Part Two
After 400 years of silence from God, an angel speaks to the young, country girl. Never married. Virgin. The angel brings the news, “you will conceive a child through the Holy Spirit” He will be the savior of the world and his kingdom will have no end.”
Her fiancé, Joseph, is devastated because his future wife has blatantly cheated on him, but he is a just man and scripture says he is about to divorce her privately when an Angel visits him as well. “Don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife”. Trust God.
Joseph and Mary meet and talk about the angels and go forward with life. A life that is pregnant with possibility but the birth pangs will be extreme difficult.
The government leaders make the announcement that all people need to report for a census and if you are not living in your home town, then you must return to that town to be counted.
What would it have felt like for Joseph and Mary to get the news of the census? “Mary, this all adds up! The rabbis’ teach of the messiah being born in Bethlehem. Micah’s prophecy said ‘out of the city of David’.” Now, we are to make a journey!
So, Joseph/Mary (who is very pregnant) embark on the 90 mile journey. You can’t really imagine what that terrain is like until you visit. In Texas, you literally see the same terrain for 300 miles. In Israel, you will see completely different terrain in 20 miles. Their journey will lead them through rugged mountains, dry desserts, and cold nights. At a minimum it would take 3 days to make the journey in that day and time. With woman 9 months pregnant, it would take around a week.
You can see that area looks very similar to the land around the Texas Hill Country. The Sunset was might have looked just like that when Joseph and Mary crested the hill and entered Bethlehem.