25 Days of Christmas – Time to be Counted
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 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, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. These are the opening words of the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke. Even in the time of Mary and Joseph, government made rules that made life difficult. In this case, the government, represented by Caesar Augustus, demanded that a census be done. This was probably to get an accurate count of the Jews so that government could get the maximum in taxes out of them.
This census was a difficult one, for the people had to be counted in the town from which they were born. If they did that today I’d have a 1257 mile trip to make, one way. But at least I’d have the advantage of traveling by car or plane. Joseph and Mary were not so lucky. There trip was only about 70 miles one way, but they only had their feet or maybe a donkey to get them there. And Mary was quite pregnant by then. I haven’t ridden by donkey but I have by horse and I can tell you I wouldn’t want to go 70 miles, especially pregnant.
After all that traveling, which took several days to a week at least, Mary had her baby. We’ll talk more about that as the days progress. The point I’d like to make here is that God had prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. But he chose a couple from Nazareth to be the parents of His child. How would he make this child come from Bethlehem? Simple answer is he got the government involved. God used a government census to bring about His will. We have just recently gone through a tough political season. Good people from both sides were at odds with each other during the Campaign. Today’s scripture tells us that it doesn’t really matter who gets elected or what they promise or don’t. At least not on the big scale God is working in. He will have His way and His plans accomplished no matter who is in office. If He can get Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem to fulfill His prophesy, He can handle our system today. What a comfort to know that He’s got this! While the world seems to be going crazy by the minute, we can find peace in the knowledge that God IS! Till tomorrow….