Good Morning December 24

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be take of the entire Roman world.” So begins the birth narrative of our Lord in Luke 2:1. We usually focus on the birth in the stable, or the angelic message to the shepherds on the hillside, but even this beginning shows the amazing hand of God’s grace. Mary and Joseph were in Nazareth in the north, but the Prophet Micah had said that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, a small southern town near Jerusalem. The census brought the holy family there. But beyond this, the text shows that God’s hand is not removed even from pagan rulers. God had been using the Greek Emperor, Alexander, and the Roman Caesars hundreds of years before the birth of Christ to prepare the world for this central event. It was a world where a common language, means of mobility, and political order were all in place for the spread of the Christian Gospel. The world heard the saving truth of Jesus Christ in the first hundred years following His birth. The decree for a Roman census, no big deal in the political scheme of world events, but it was yet another proof that God has not left us, and will not leave us until all is complete in His perfect plan.