In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered.
We know this verse from the beginning of the story of the birth of Jesus. Confirming all that goes before and after it, this verse fits right into the truth that nothing was normal was Jesus. Not the announcement, not the childhood, not the life, not the ministry, and not the death.
So it should serve as no surprise to us that His birth didn’t go as expected. Certainly Mary and Joseph hoped that Jesus would be born at home, surrounded by family, with lots of resources at their disposal. Instead they had to travel far away from home, to a place where they had no family and had no support system. They travelled when they didn’t want to travel, to a place they didn’t want to go.
No one could make space for them – they were unwelcome. They ended up in a cave, with a feeding trough for a baby bed. In spite of all of Joseph’s efforts, the place of Jesus’ birth was unsanitary, unhealthy.
With all the hardship, with all the challenge, and with all the upheaval, this did not mean that God was not at work. Of course we know well God was at work carrying out His perfect plan, fulfilling prophecy, bringing salvation to the world.
Beware the trap of easy faith that tells you to equate difficult days with being out of step with God. There are too many examples in scripture of men and women listening to the Lord and walking into challenge and upheaval of life. Just because it isn’t what we thought it would be doesn’t mean God is not at work.
This week marks the end of my first year as the DOM here in Unity Baptist Association. What a fast year it has been! I’m so thankful today for the privilege of ministering alongside so many faithful servants. My life has been enriched by the friendships that have begun in the past 12 months. I eagerly anticipate the next year as we begin to implement the strategy the Lord has put before us. Let’s walk confidently into the future, certain that we are going to bring glory to the name of the Lord.
Thanks for your partnership in the gospel.