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Assured, Mary returned home from Elizabeth and Zachariah's to find her family busily involved in preparations. A child was to be born; the Holy Child. The excitement and wonder quietly motivated all of them. Even as poor as Mary's family was, each one of them pulled resources together to make the blankets, hats, diapers, and swaddling clothes that the Baby would need.

They choose to call Him Emmanuel, 'God with us', until His naming ceremony. Yet news was circulating in Nazareth. The Roman Empire decree ordered each man to register, like a census.. Joseph and Mary prayed, wed, and had to leave her Mother. They set off together for Bethlehem because Joseph was a descendent of King David. It was a long journey; preparations had been made.

Like Joseph, Mary, and their families, we work preparations into our schedules. It's a joy to gather gifts for others and we cannot wait until the last moment. We think of others and their hobbies, needs, and expressions of our love. This is our part of Christmas preparations. A nativity scene under the tree as we tell Jesus' birth story to our little ones helps them to know Him. Bringing hearts to Him, God's Son, is the best preparation that we can accomplish.

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. Luke 2:1-5

But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-22

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