The story of Jesus’ birth is more complex than we sometimes realize. As we look at the circumstance surrounding it, we see governmental decrees (v.1) placing demands on all citizens in the Roman Empire (v.3.) We see Joseph and Mary following the laws of their day (vs.4-5).
In the middle of this time of political intrigue a very poignant story is unfolding. Joseph and Mary have followed the guidance of angels over the last few months, and that angelic guidance comes as they live out their lives as ordinary citizens in the Roman Empire who happen to be waiting for the birth of their first child.
If we were to transplant their journey into the 21st century, there might be crass headlines or blogposts with statements like “Unplanned pregnancy,” “Tax bills deadline approaches,” or even a blog entitled “A visit to my home town, Bethlehem.” There is simply a familiar ring to their story; it is filled with simple-people, following the rules of the land yet being part of God’s redemptive plan.
I think the lesson today for us is clear: our normal routine is the context in which God regularly shows up and does extraordinary things. Are you looking for His plan, or just trying to get through the day?
Vice President, ChildHope
Prayer: Lord, I am simply worn out from the things I have to do each day. I admit I leave little space for You. Help me see You in the middle of my busyness and the routine that numbs my mind. I want to see and hear the Good News that this season announces.
1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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