"I'll come with you."
Joseph balked at Mary's response. He had been so sure she would agree that staying home was for the best . Did she realise what she would be getting into?
"But Mary, Bethlehem is 80 long miles from Nazareth. The journey is tiring and the terrain dangerous even for a man."
He shook his head.
" Too risky. What if you go into labour mid way ? It's much safer for you to stay home. I ll be back as soon as I can."
Mary smiled. She smoothed the lines on her husband's furrowed brows and cupped his dear worried face as she calmly recited.
"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
"Don't you see? The prophesy is coming to pass through this census! I won't go into labour mid journey. This Child is destined to be born in Bethlehem. To fulfil the prophesy, we have to go!"
Joseph's heart stirred as he mulled over Mary's words.
Indeed, she was right! They had been wondering why Nazareth, when the prophesy had clearly foretold Bethlehem to be the birthplace of the Messiah.
He gazed at his wife in awe , marvelling at her faith filled courage.
Now he understood. The pieces fit perfectly. God in His mysterious way, was using the hand of the gentile Roman emperor to fulfil the prophesy.
True, it wasn't going to be a walk in the garden. To others, it would even seem reckless of them to make the trip together .
But with God, nothing was impossible. He would surely send His Angels to protect them from harm.
Besides, from the day that he took Mary home, he had given up on worrying about others' opinion.
With joy, he stood up excitedly.
"Come! We have loads to prepare for!"
They had bread to bake, supplies to pack and he had a crib to varnish, for when the three of them got back.
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