“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.’” —Luke 2:1
Mary and Joseph were quite likely in good company on the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Many of these unknown-to-us fellow travelers were probably also on their way to register for the census that had been decreed by Caesar Augustus. Others might have been visiting relatives for a special occasion—a wedding or funeral—or traveling for work.
We often imagine Mary and Joseph’s journey as a frighteningly solitary one. However, the 90-mile, week-long trek probably took place in the springtime and was likely a time of camaraderie and fellowship with fellow travelers—family, friends, acquaintances, strangers. Through the strength of their numbers, they would have offered one another protection from wild animals, bandits and other nefarious characters.
In our day, because of significant unemployment in their home countries, about one third of Central Asian men and women must travel to other nations to earn money to support their families. Most Central Asians are Muslims, but some follow Jesus. As they journey, they seek fellowship and support among other migrants. Children remain back at home, without one or both parents. Extended families and close friends do the best they can to care for the children left behind. On both ends of these journeys, Frontier Fellowship partners share the Good News of Jesus with travelers on the road and families back home, planting seeds that grow into flourishing communities of faith among least-reached peoples.
Consider your role in caring for others, even those you don’t know well. Whom can you invite into your community in a new way? How can you care for others on their journey and allow others to care for you on yours?