2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. (Luke 2: 1-3)
I can’t imagine that there are many announcements that would be more unwelcome than this one – particularly when expecting a baby!
Out of interest, I worked out how long it would take me to walk the 26 miles to my birthplace. My calculations say that if I walk 3 miles every hour I’d manage that distance in eight and a half hours. I’m fairly sure that it would take me much longer than that, especially if I were pregnant!
Can you imagine the mayhem and uproar there would be if Theresa May issued the same decree? I appreciate that nowadays it’s all done by filling out forms. But, what if, once a decade, we all had to go to our birthplace and register? Even going by car would be a nightmare, and don’t even mention the trains!
For Mary and Joseph, and similarly for thousands of others, I would imagine it was a rather unwelcome announcement. Mary and Joseph had to travel approximately 92 miles. I don’t envy them at all!