Luke 2:1-7

During the season of Lent our devotions have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church. Today’s writer is Jason Houlihan.

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.

While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:1-7

The passage opens with a reminder: Caesar Augustus is the leader of the world, the man who had conquered all the factions of the republic, and then turned them into an empire under his sole control. Caesar decreed that all within the empire be registered.

So the parents of Jesus go to Bethlehem to register. Jesus, like David, will be born in Bethlehem (1 Samuel 17:12). Not the place of David’s influence in Jerusalem, but in the place Micah describes as “too little to be among the clans of Judah” (ESV).

God again chooses the smaller and less powerful over places of status and position.

Right before chapter 2, we hear Mary sing of God’s working through those without power. This is the key step in God’s proclamation; that He is coming to turn the world right-side-up, to bring down the powerful leaders from their thrones, and to raise up the oppressed.

He is also here to feed the hungry with the good things of Creation, to send the overstuffed rich empty away, and to remember promises made all the way back to Abraham.

Caesar may be issuing orders, but God is keeping promises.

Let us pray: Jesus, I often feel powerless. Powerless in the face of suffering, rising suicide rates, and my own ability to make a difference. Help claim my weary heart and call my mind to times of triumph. Let me remember your promises oh God like Mary. Give me the vision to hand over my powerlessness before your feet. Amen.

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3 Responses to “Luke 2:1-7”

  1. kirk Says:

    A Men

  2. Nancy S Says:

    Really like that last line– such an important reminder

  3. Melanie B Says:

    Good message & reminder. God is available for us to call on anytime. It is hard to see people suffer and endure losses – He will help us through those times.

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