Sunday, January 14, 2018
Each year, one of our first tests centers around the birth of Jesus and how a couple from Nazareth in Israel happened to have a baby ninety miles away in Bethlehem! The following, from March 19, 2010 discusses how that happened!
I'm official! Several minutes ago, I completed my 2010 United States Census and will place it in the care of the United States Postal Service tomorrow. It only took several minutes and was extremely simple, not always the case with government forms! I explain to my students that ours is a decennial census as defined in the Constitution, for the purpose of apportioning seats by state in the House of Representatives in a count of the population every ten years. I know this; we don't need a census to tell us that Houston is one big city.
There is another census we discuss each year in class, always in August. This was the one called by the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus, requiring the people of Israel to return to their ancestral home to register. A young couple from Nazareth, Joseph and Mary, were both from the line of David and the tribe of Judah. As instructed, they traveled from their hometown to Bethlehem, the city of David, as required by Rome. You know the rest. Fulfilling the prophecy of Micah 5:2-
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.'-
Jesus slipped into humanity virtually unnoticed only six miles from Jerusalem, the center of the Jewish faith. There was little fanfare to greet His birth, apart from the angelic announcement of the joyous event to shepherds. But, this most recent addition to the population of the people of Israel changed the direction of mankind. In his infinite wisdom, the Heavenly Father used a political tool to make the words of the prophecy come true. I find the words of Paul in Acts 17, verse 26, fascinating. Preaching in Athens, he made this point to his listeners:
'From one man He (God) made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.'
Did Paul mean only groups or also individuals in terms of times and places? My take is that he meant individuals, meaning you and me....and Jesus. Sometimes I wonder how I ended up in Houston but maybe I should be more concerned with what the Lord wants me to do here. I'm pretty sure He wanted to fill out my census form. After all, there is precedent.
Applicable quote of the day:
"The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops, but the kind of man that the country turns out.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 9:12 PM