Words of Wisdom
The Miracle Path To Christmas is Secular
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.
This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
All went to their own towns to be registered.
Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.
He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.
Luke 2:1-5 ( NRSV )
It is census time for the entire Roman world. All the hustle and bustle, all the travelling, all the preparations being made at this time, are because of the call of the ruling power of the day.
Listen again to these familiar verses.
" In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.
This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)"
Luke 2; 1&2
Joseph is caught up in this time also, for he has to return to Bethlehem where his family line originated. He makes the journey with pregnant Mary, the one pledged to be his wife.
Exactly what does obedience to this secular earthly ruler demand?
- The Ruling - A census must be taken and all ruling leaders of provinces must ensure that the call of Caesar Augustus is obeyed.
- The Registering - All people, regardless of status, distance or fortune, must now be registered. It's the order of the day.
- The Returning - To be registered, many have to return to their ancestral birth places. Joseph must return to Bethlehem.
These are some secular facts that surround the Birth of Jesus Christ. Joseph is caught up in the hustle, bustle and travel of this secular time.
What part does the secular play in your Christmas? Too often we miss so much of the Miracle of Christmas, because our faith in the Power and Lordship of Almighty God, fails us. Will you listen to these words? The sacred does not call Joseph, it's a call from a pagan leader. It was not the voice of God's angels that toldl Joseph to return to his birth place so that Jesus can be born there.
Maybe you feel trapped at this sacred time of Christmas, by the demands of a secular world. It may be through the demands of your workplace, where commercialism rules. It may be through family members who do not believe in, nor celebrate Christmas. It may simply be that some unwanted separation and parting have brought you to a time of untold sadness and comfortless sorrow.
In whichever secular, earthly, human place you are, God is still able to make a Christmas Miracle for you. Miracle is still His Work!