1. Anyway...getting back to where I was in the story...right about this time, for some reason, Caesar Augustus decided to order a census to be taken throughout the entire Roman Empire.
2. This enrollment was unprecedented...the first ever of its kind, at least on such a grand scale...and it was made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3. So it meant that everyone in the Empire...regardless of where they lived at the time, or of what their current conditions were...had to make the journey to their own ancestral hometown to be accounted for.
4. This, in turn, meant that Joseph had to leave the Galilean town of Nazareth where he lived, and travel all the way up to Bethlehem in Judah, the City of David, to participate in the census. As a descendant of David, that's where he had to go.
5. And he took Mary, his pregnant fiance, with him on the long journey, even though she was in the third trimester of her pregnancy.
6. Their plan was to move as quickly as possible to Bethlehem, and then attempt to get back home in time for the baby's delivery. But it turned out that while they were there, she went into labor, and there was nothing they could do about it. She was going to have to give birth right there in this overcrowded city of strangers...with no connections...no acquaintances...no family...no doctor...no midwife...no place to stay...just lots and lots of inconvenienced people who were also there only because of the census.
7. And so Mary gave birth to a son, her firstborn, and she swaddled Him in a blanket, and laid Him in a feeding trough for animals. It was her only alternative, because she and Joseph ended up having to go into a stable for the delivery. There was absolutely no vacancy in any of the local inns or hostels, so they just did what they had to do with what was available to them.