LUKE: PART I
Read: Luke 2:1-5
1 “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.” 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. (Luke 2:1-5 NIV)
Study: I know we usually read this in the around Christmas time, but, in reading it today, we are reminded of the way in which God often works in our world. As today’s reading reminds us, a decree of the Roman Empire was part of the Christmas story, and an essential component of God’s unfolding, sovereign plan. The Gentile world of bureaucracy and empire also had its part to play—not everything was angels and miracles and psalms of praise. But, in a way, these circumstances are profoundly comforting: ordinary events are ordained by God just as extraordinary ones are. God is always at work, whether God writes the message in the sky or not. Sometimes we experience the work of God in our lives as clearly as trumpets blasting and as grandly as angels singing. Other times, it might be unclear how God is working in our circumstances. Our passage today encourages us that even as we go about our daily lives, fulfilling our responsibilities, God is working. Are there points where you can look back and see God’s hand in retrospect? Thank God for God’s unfailing work, and use your reflection on those moments as encouragement to remain faithful.
Pray: Thank you God for your unwavering love. Even when I fail to see your presence, you are working. Even when I feel alone you are there. Amen.