Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22965 – 1042
Here’s the haps:
You can’t try to wait to see if she has the baby because she would still have the purification rituals to complete and be just as incapable of travel in either case. You have to go and you have to go now. You kneel by the little window that faces Jerusalem and pray.
You must take your tools along. You have enough money, really, to make such a trip and provision yourselves adequately, but who knows? Mary will be unclean for forty-four days and there will be many expenses. There always are. If you can make it to Bethlehem, you should have enough money saved up to get some physical comfort for Mary, in fact, you can afford to get her a nicer accommodation than she would have if she had the baby here. You have built rooms and guesthouses for a number of the wealthier people in that town so they could have a place for their traveling relatives and even an occasional stranger; surely they would make room in these conditions. Perhaps even a nice midwife to assist her mother with the delivery. Yes, and perhaps in a room somewhere that you may have built, would be possible. Your skills could make it so you could stay there in Bethlehem for a while anyway. Perhaps it will work out all right after all. You will have to spend some time down in the Holy City when the child is born so you can make the purification sacrifices and have the child circumcised and dedicated to God. You laugh, wondering if you are being irreverent, but you find that pretty funny. You will present the child to Himself! The Almighty Father has brought laughter and joy to you as he did to your ancestors.
The child will be a visible manifestation of the Invisible One who apparently has some purpose or plan in coming in such a fashion and you feel you must try to raise the child up according to the Law of Moses as well as you can. The Almighty has seen you all of your life and must think you have something of value to pass on to this strange child. You will raise it and treat it as your own unless you are instructed differently by another messenger. This must be done despite the Pharisees and Sadducees who have made a self-righteous, twisted mess out of Moses’ work. The angel had said, “He shall save His people from their sins” but who will save Him from the religious leaders? Well, one problem at a time.
You and Mary’s father pack the asses with the help of some local children and well-wishers. The women come and weep and pray and cry. You have decided to leave immediately, knowing you will be traveling slower than the others from Nazareth. Even though two strong men pushing themselves along could make the trip easily in seven days; two weeks might not be enough time. What if you were late? The Romans had not built their empire on a reputation of kindness and mercy, especially to subjugated peoples. Again, you think, “One problem at a time.” Even though you are the butt of many jokes around town, you still have family and friends who will help you out, besides the many outward well-wishers who secretly hope God will punish you along the way for your immorality. You chuckle in spite of yourself at the thought. If only they knew…