What was life like "one week before Jesus' birth?" What were people doing just before the Messiah would be born? What was happening politically? What were Joseph and Mary doing? For that matter, what were the shepherds doing too? And how close were the wise men, if they were already traveling? (Remember, some believe the wise men never started their journey until Jesus' birth). What are you doing one week before Christmas?
We know that the decree went out to "all the world" for this registration ("taxing" in KJV). How much time did Jospeh and Mary have before they had to leave? I assume they were rushed because they obviously didn't wait for the Baby to be born before they left. As they approached Bethlehem and even before they knew there was "no room in the inn" for them, I'm sure they were apprehensive about the birth! Perhaps they felt stressed, rushed, and "too much to do" and "too much to think about." Sound familiar? What happens to you and your family "one week before Christmas?"
I'm sure the shepherds didn't have a clue as to what was coming. But I think I can say with confidence that they were busy about what they were supposed to be doing. They were faithful. And maybe they wondered about all the "movement of people" they were seeing, like Joseph and Mary. They might have wondered what the fuss was all about. Whatever, they were where they needed to be on that special night.
Did Ceasar care about what his decree would do? Probably he couldn't care less! But God cared and it was of the Lord that Ceasar did what he did so God could do what He wanted to do with Joseph and Mary. You might think again when the government seems to meddle with your life and your schedule. If government regulations get you disgusted, think of Joseph and Mary. They moved because Caesar made a decision. Proverbs 21:1 speaks about the "heart of the king being in the hands of the Lord."
How will you make this week special as you contemplate Jesus' birth?