The time to celebrate the greatest event in human history is upon us again. While we will all need to be careful, and make appropriate adjustments in our present circumstances, we can still participate in this joyous occasion as we embrace the spirit of Christmas!
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.”
Just like Caesar Augustus had everyone counted in his realm back then, God is also taking a worldwide census today. God too, wants us to return to original ground. Will we stand up and be counted? While we all belong to one country or another, it is important that we make sure we are citizens of God’s Kingdom — that our names are found in God’s registry.
Bethlehem — “house of bread” —is the little town where Jesus, the “Bread of Life” was born roughly 2,020 years ago! Those were perilous times — so are these times — for the world. Imagine how difficult it must have been for Joseph and Mary to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem during that winter. The yet unborn baby Jesus would have felt every bump along the uneven road they traveled. Mary would have been nearly nine months pregnant when she made that arduous journey into an unknown future!
Jesus may have been recalling that trip when He interceded on behalf of the people of Jerusalem in one of His prophetic utterances concerning the future destruction of that city.
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel — let the reader understand — then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again. “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”
While so many wonderful things took place around the birth of Jesus — angels, shepherds, Magi — there were also dreadful things that accompanied His birth as well. Life always seems to have the good, the bad, and the ugly thrown into the mix! God may have allowed life to be seeded with these elements so that we would learn to turn to Him only during our times of need.
This Christmas is no different from that first epoch changing season. We too are entering a period in history that promises to turn all our expectations upside down! As dark and chaotic as everything looks right now — things are going to get better. If you can bring yourself to believe it — much better!
How can we be so optimistic? We can be optimistic because Jesus is on the throne! This baby Jesus, whose birth we are about to celebrate, has now grown up, and has become King of kings, and Lord of lords! Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, and rules over everything that exists. That is a lot of authority — so we can rest assured that everything is going to turn out alright!
All of us are going through very different experiences right now. For many, this has been a confusing year. For some, this has been a very hard year. No matter where we find ourselves at this stage of our journey — the road to Bethlehem has been difficult. What will be our assessment of the trip by next week? Will it have been worth the effort?
Seeing the star over Bethlehem will make every step of our journey worthwhile. Seeing baby Jesus asleep in the manger will be worth every trial we’ve gone through. Seeing that knowing smile spread across that little face will be pure joy!
May we see Jesus in all His glory this Christmas!
🙏 Prayer Requests 🙏
- Let us lift up this Christmas season in our prayers.
- Let’s pray that people the world over will come to know Jesus, and establish a personal relationship with Him as their Lord and Savior.
- Let’s pray for all the opportunities that believers will have to share their faith.
- Pray that God will powerfully touch the lives of all those who will seek Him this Christmas!
- Let’s continue to pray for a speedy end to this pandemic.
- Pray that all the vaccines that are being produced will be effective. In the meantime, let’s pray that God will build up our immune systems.