All the gifts are wrapped, the turkey prepared and the wine cooling in the fridge … Nah, only kidding. I sit amongst a load of gifts that I still need to wrap for the big man’s arrival tonight. But I wanted to jump on here and wish you all the best Christmas.
while here I just wanted to share with you a little hope I take from the Christmas story.
Obviously, we love to celebrate the coming of our King and the Saviour of the world, the greatest gift ever to mankind; however, the bit of the story that catches my heart every time is not just Mary’s courage or the vulnerable babe born in the stable but the role of the Caesar Augustus.
Here we pick up in the book of Luke
“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He travelled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no lodging available for them.”
Luke 2:1-7 NLT
It had been prophesied something like seven hundred years before that the Messiah would be born from the line of Judah (Joesph) and also he would be born in Bethlehem. With Mary the virgin already with child living in Nazareth and ready to pop, they weren’t about to hop on the donkey for a nearly one hundred mile trip for the fun of it, were they now?
So cue old Caesar, the Roman Emperor who called for all the Jewish people to return to their hometown for a census to be carried out in preparation for taxation, the census which didn’t actually take place for ten or so years after. And so we see poor wee heavily pregnant Maza and Joe embark on the painstaking journey to Joesph’s hometown of Bethlehem.
And there we have it! God used a totally unaware Roman Emperor to fulfil a 700-year-old prophecy.
The incredible Charles Spurgeon puts it like this
The Lord our God has a bit for the wildest war horse, and a hook for the most terrible Leviathan. Autocratical Caesars are but puppets moved with invisible strings, mere drudges to the King of kings.
I LOVE IT!!!
You see, God will use anything and everyone he needs to fulfil his promise to you. He will use kings and rulers and high powers, he will use the humble, meek and ordinary and he will use you!
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
Romans 8:28 NLT
So please take this encouragement this Christmas that God is forever in control. No matter how bleak your situation looks right now, no matter how unusual your circumstances, God is working all things for his good. He can and he will uproot and restore even the most terrible mess to see you fulfil his purpose and bringing glory to him. Please don’t put limits of the power of God or his ability to use you for his glory in the Kingdom of God here on earth.
Don’t overlook those strange encounters, or the situations that test you, that draw you closer to him. Don’t leave the Saviour of the world out in the cold this Christmas, make room for him in your heart. Make time for him over this busy period of Christmas, and don’t rule out the impossible.
Remember our God is a way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness.
Much love & Christmas Blessings