I owe this lesson to my pastor who has been adding to the trove of knowledge that I keep and making it seem that my trove is minuscule compared to his, although he is years younger than I. As we have ever heard the Christmas story, Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem as a result of Caesar’s decree that all should be counted in their area of origin. This was Joseph’s home town though he had been living in Nazareth of Galilee.
And as the story is related by Luke the physician, Mary went into labor and delivered her baby but there was no room in the inn. The Amplified Version of the Bible says there was no [private] room. This gives me pause. How can there be no private room for a couple who are expecting in the “any day now” category? How can this be when Joseph is in his home town where supposedly he should have some influence and relatives? Yes, I get that this was an extraordinary circumstance, but through my 21st century eyes, this is ludicrous.
No room in the inn implies that they searched for accommodation and found none. I can imagine the real frustration of a “newlywed” expectant father who is just trying to make the best of a bad situation. He is mandated to appear for the census. Feeling overwhelmed and of course exhausted as he has had to make a 90-mile trek on rising terrain only to arrive with no recourse but to sleep in an odorous stable.
I’m quite sure that I would be questioning my sanity and my history, not to mention God himself. I’m the guy who would be asking “Is this the way you intended things to work out?”
In hindsight, we see that everything worked out but it was not a smooth seamless “A to B” transaction. Joseph was required to trust God and trust the message given to him by the angel. As always, things appear chaotic and it is up to us to expect that God will fulfill His will no matter what.