In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
- Luke 2:1-7

In the message yesterday Brenna pointed out how Mary had come to the end of her 40-week gestation period . Brenna reflected on some of the other times in the scripture that the number 40 comes up.

  • Noah’s 40 days riding out the flood

  • Jesus’s 40 days in the desert fighting temptation before his ministry began

  • Moses leading Israel through the wilderness for 40 years

Each of those times, like a 40-week gestation period, was a time of transition marked by hardship. With a 100-mile forced march in her ninth month of pregnancy and a sheep pen as a delivery room, Mary’s season finished off with a real bang! And yet, literally, God was with her through it all.

As Christmas draws near, find a little space to reflect on where you’re at in life. Where are you in your 40-day (week/month/year) period of hardship? Or are you coming out of it? Take some time to remember that, as Jesus was present in every step of Mary’s challenging season, he’ll be with you.