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Advent Season: The Journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem

By Martha Bush

Welcome back to the third and final week of Advent Season here on Lynn Donovan’s Ministries. Advent-season

Let’s do a recap:

  • First week: A Celebration of Hope - we discussed the importance of getting past the busy trap to focus on the real reason for our hope.
  • Second Week: A Time of Waiting - we discussed how the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, and also us during the “waiting times” in our life.

Today, we are going to take a look at The Journey Mary and Joseph took to Bethlehem. Their journey began after the following decree was issued:

About this time Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperor, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the nation. (This census was taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) Everyone was required to return to his ancestral home for this registration. And because Joseph was a member of the royal line, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, King David’s ancient home—journeying there from the Galilean village of Nazareth. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was obviously pregnant by this time. (Luke 2:1-5 TLB)

What was their journey like?  Do we really have an idea? Actually, the gospels do not convey just how challenging it was, but we have to assume it was probably difficult and strenuous, especially for Mary who was in her ninth month of pregnancy. Most historians estimate the journey took between 4-5 days or maybe even longer.

But, I tend to believe that the strenuous journey, the census, and not even Joseph's first thoughts of breaking his engagement with her when he found out she was pregnant were at the forefront of Mary’s mind. I just have to believe the thing that was at the forefront of Mary’s mine was that the favor of God was upon her, as Gabriel had proclaimed. (Luke 1:28)

Yes, even in her youth, it appears that Mary had caught a glimpse of what the favor of God meant. And with that, her trust in God led to the acceptance of God’s purpose for her as His servant. (Luke 1:38) Acceptance of God’s plans and purpose for her life, no doubt, led to a peacefulness to give birth to that purpose, no matter what the surrounding circumstances looked like. 

With that thought in mind, I want to switch gears from Mary to each of us to see an element in her story that is relevant in our lives today.  Here goes---

Like Mary, we are blessed and highly favored by our Lord.

  • He has chosen us. (1 Peter 2:9)
  • He knew us from our mother's womb and had a plan for us (Jeremiah 1:5; Jeremiah 29:11)
  • He has placed gifts within us to serve others (1 Peter 4:10)

If we fully understand just how blessed and highly favored we are by our Savior, we will respond to His calling and purpose for our lives by taking our journey towards giving birth to it.

So, I ask you today,


 Please watch this 2 minute video of the improvised Journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how the sights, sounds, and rugged terrain of their physical journey might relate to the spiritual journey you are taking to give birth to your God-given dreams, vocation, or call to ministry.

Let’s encourage and pray for one another to push on through the terrain and any opposition to give birth.


1 med Res Enforcer Front CoverLynn, I couldn't stop reading this book!  It is the best you have written! It's a "self-help-bible-based-do-it-yourself-demon-slaying-victory-winning book" like no other I've ever read. I learned some new prayer points as well as clarification on what exactly does my situation mean.  Everyone who reads this will want their bible, notebook and the Holy Spirit sitting next to them as they strategize with the tools you've given! -Barb

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