Reflection based on Luke 2:4-5.
It was at least a three day journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. As the crow flies, it was a 70 mile distance. But Mary and Joseph weren’t traveling as crows do. Their journey through the hills and valleys of Judea amounted to more than 70 miles on foot when they finally arrived in Bethlehem.
Bethlehem was, in the worlds of St. Luke, their “own city” because they were from the house and family of David. It was the town from which God had plucked a ruddy teenage shepherd boy and designated him as the future king.
From King David’s family, and through his descendants, Joseph and Mary were eventually born. Then, at just the right time, by God’s divine orchestration of human history, Joseph and Mary made their way back “home.”
How ordinary Bethlehem was. A place for barley farmers and livestock herders.
But God’s work makes ordinary people and out-of-the-way places memorable!
The “House of Bread,” as Bethlehem was called, became the birth place of the Bread of Life. Memorable indeed!
This is good news for regular people like you and me. God does not ask us to work hard in order to make a name for ourselves. He has not even asked us to be successful.
God asks ordinary people for faithfulness—to be willing and fully committed to Him. We stay the course, with our eyes locked on the destination He has chosen, even if it looks like a smudge on the landscape or a small and unremarkable place.
It is God’s work that transforms ordinary people and places into memorable names that point back to Him.
He gets the glory, and we get the joy of remembering all He has done.