Road Trip

Luke 2:1-14 

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.  

Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.  

While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:1-7 

This is one of those passages whereby when I read and reflect on it but I’m not really sure what to write about it. What can I say about the birth of Jesus that hasn’t already been said?  

Let’s Take a Tangent

Sometimes when I approach a scripture passage on my daily journey with God, I say to myself, ‘this is a good passage; or this is interesting; or this is important – but I don’t necessarily have a flood of words that come to mind to write down.’ When this happens to me, like this morning, I just start writing, (like I’m doing now). My hope is that a fresh insight will come into my brain as I began to write. I pray and ask for God’s wisdom to shine on me.  

Lord, when I search Your Word, give me wisdom and insight. And may I do it with pure motives and out of love for You. 

With this in mind, let’s reflect for a moment on David’s words in Psalms 143:

I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for You, as a parched land. Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; do not hide Your face from me, or I will become like those who go down to the pit, (David is quite dramatic),  

(Here’s the important part for me this morning), Let me hear Your loving-kindness in the morning: For I trust in You; teach me the way in which I should walk; for I lift up my soul. Psalms 143.6-8 

Time to Refocus 

OK, I’ve been avoiding the text long enough. Back to Luke 2.

“Honey…sweetheart…sweet Mary, we have to get up and get going. I didn’t sleep at all last night. He has been very active these last couple of days. I feel like I’m going to burst.” Mary’s eyes grow moist as Joseph replies with pain in his eyes; “Perhaps you should stay. How can the Romans punish us under these circumstances? The journey is nearly 70 miles. We can’t be expected to put the baby’s life at risk – and yours as well.” 

“Sweet Joseph, we have already decided. I must go to Bethlehem. We have discussed the words of the prophet Micah, remember? I am determined to go.” 

But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you (Bethlehem) One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel…Therefore, He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has born a child…And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. Micah 5:2-4.

Mary continues as resolve overcomes her pain; “The Romans believe this census is for their purposes; to deepen their grip on our people. But we know it is from God. The angel was very clear to me; my son is the Son of the Most High! The prophet declared that the chosen One will be the ruler in Israel and He will be born in Bethlehem. We must go.” 

Joseph could see Mary’s eyes turn from fearful pain to resolve. Then she says, “We must go…but by the way, were you able to borrow that donkey so I don’t have to walk?”

When Charlie Brown screams out in frustration, ‘Is there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about,” Linus steps up and recites Luke 2. 

Father, we are humbled by the humble circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus. His visit to earth was to serve, in humility and meekness. This most powerful One chose to suppress His power (except in a few chosen circumstances) and royalty in order to serve. May we serve as well, loosening ourselves of the grip of pride and aspirations of comfort above all else, may we serve. Amen!