Dec. 19, 2012
Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. – Luke 2:3-4
Where is your hometown?
I grew up in rural Fall Creek, Wisconsin but attended high school in Augusta. While I was in college, my parents moved into Augusta. Technically, I haven’t lived in this community for over 25 years. Yet before I was married, it bothered my Mom when I would say I was coming to their house. She wanted me to say that I was “coming home.” It was difficult for her to hear that I no longer called their house “home.”
Joseph is from Bethlehem. He’s going to his hometown. Whether he was living there or not, it’s where his family is from. As a descendent of King David, his family took great pride in being from the same town as this most famous king.
But this time when he returns to Bethlehem, things are different. His fiancée, Mary is pregnant. He’s not the father but will people believe him if he’d said, “It’s not my fault. God got her pregnant.” Hardly.
Sometimes going “home” is exciting and fun. We get to see people we may not see often, visit places we remember from our childhood. I’m thinking Joseph was not all that excited to go back to Bethlehem. So much has happened and it’s not easy to explain. But he didn’t have a choice. Caesar made the decision for him. He had to suck it up and do the right thing. Maybe he was more concerned what to do with his very pregnant fiancée, Mary. The baby could come any time. What would he do?
While our addresses may change, our identity is always rooted in you, Lord God. As members of your family, may we see ourselves at home in your loving and caring arms. This is our home. May this place be a safe refuge for us. Amen.