In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered (Luke 2:1).
Read Luke 2:1-5.
Every year I take my family across three states to spend Christmas with my brothers and their families in Ohio. It's a long trip, but we thoroughly enjoy it, reaching our destination the same day. My father once told me of a Christmas he spent travelling by train from California to Ohio on leave from the Navy.
As we remember the birth of God's Son, we recall another long and difficult Christmas journey. That journey was set in motion by a command from the Roman emperor. But standing behind the mightiest man in the world -- Caesar Augustus -- stood God, the ultimate Ruler, moving His Son's chosen mother to the exact place were long ago He had announced His Son would be born. In Micah 5:2 we read, "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me One who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days."
In another 30 years a Roman military governor will pass a judgment of his own, commanding this same Jesus to carry His cross on a journey to Mt. Calvary to be crucified. God stood behind that decision too, laying our guilt and sins on His own Son, who made that most difficult of journeys so that we could be forgiven and live with Him forever.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for taking up Your cross and making that long journey to Mt. Calvary, where You set me free from sin, guilt, death and hell. Fill me with joy and patience no matter where I may travel this Christmastime. Amen.
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