Christmas Eve


“All went to their own towns to be registered” (NRSV, Luke 2:3)

Christmas is a busy time, and the first Christmas was no exception.  The Emperor Augustus had extended the system of national registration to the vassal Kingdom of Herod the Great.  The head of each family was required, in accordance with Jewish tradition, to register in the town from which he originally came and this meant long journeys for those who had moved to other parts of the country.

The main road running from the north through Jerusalem and then on through Bethlehem to Beer-Sheba in the south would have been exceptionally busy with its two lines of traffic struggling forward in each direction as the people, some on foot, others on camels and asses, hurried on to give in their names and then get back to their homes again.

Prev Next »