Luke 2:1

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

Jesus toddles about the room, searching for a fruit Mary gave him to munch on. He finds it discarded on the floor, and makes a show of wiping off  the dirt with his bare belly. He giggles, and Mary giggles with him. His smile is something out of this world. His cheeks are round and rosy, his head full of dark hair.

Mary wakes from another dream to a cool, quiet house. Joseph is already gone to his workshop, working through the morning hours. He will eat his morning meal when his new wife prepares it and takes it to him. She prefers to sit with him for a few moments while he works. She likes to listen to his blessing over their meal even though she prays over it as she prepares it in the house.

“Father, let this day be as blessed as the babe in my dream,” she murmurs quietly, stepping into the sun with a small basket of food.

Living with Joseph was like nothing she expected, but everything she hoped for. Tending to him, watching him work, sleeping in their little room after long talks in the darkness–it all comes easily for her.

“Just be yourself, Mary,” her mother assured her when she returned home just days after the wedding feast–nervous and unsure. She’d taken it to heart. She returned to her new home and stepped right into her new role as wife.

It wasn’t all that different anyway. Now she takes care of Joseph instead of her own siblings. Now she has her own home instead of helping her mother with hers. Now she has a husband who loves her fiercely–the way she always hoped a husband would.

Mary knocks on the door frame of the workshop before stepping through the doorway. Empty. Joseph’s tools are strewn across the work table, a smooth piece of soft wood is in the works there, but no Joseph.

“I found you,” her husband says from the doorway.

One look, and she sees he has news.

“What is it?”

“Caesar Augustus has called every citizen to register.”


“At their origin of birth.”


Mary’s hand goes to her belly, now heavy with child. The baby there growing by day, pressing, moving, aching. He kicks and shifts under her hand, and Mary smiles up at Joseph.

“It seems he is ready for a trip.”