Today’s Scripture Selection: Luke 2:1
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.”
They lived in a world in which they were constantly assailed by the “powers that be.” When Rome spoke, people listened. Either that or they would be quickly dispatched. Nailed to a tree, others could see what was left of the defiant one, and learn a quick lesson in obedience.
Barely scraping out an existence under Caesar’s thumb, the word “tax” weighed especially heavily on these poor Jews. They tried to keep their faith intact, they tried to carry on, but who could blame them for being discouraged and frightened. “What next?” was probably often the question in their hearts and on their lips.
So, this “decree” was no small matter.
What they didn’t know – perhaps couldn’t know – was that the Emperor wasn’t in charge at all. God was.
It was all playing out, just as it had been prophesied, for centuries.
The decree, the really important decree, wasn’t that Rome wanted a little more of their hard-earned money. It was that the long awaited Messiah was about to arrive, right on schedule.
It’s helpful to remember, two thousand years later, that God is still in charge – not “Rome”.
We may be perplexed, burdened, frightened, but God’s plan is still unfolding, right on schedule.
So look up into the night sky. Search the stars. Dream a bit. Imagine how it is that the universe is in proper order, even though your personal world may seem out of sorts at times.
God has issued His decree – has reached out in redemptive action – all is just as it should be.