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.
Scripture: Luke 2:1-20
The Census calls!
I received the form in the mail first. I completed and returned it, hopeful that my response would help my community.
In Luke’s Nativity, Joseph got the call to complete the Census. I imagine that he too felt a sense of hope. He answered the call by unquestioningly traveling a great distance with his expectant fiancé. He hoped to be counted and included.
The story continues with the angel’s visit to the shepherds. The angel must have been full of hope, being the one chosen to deliver such good news to the shepherds! The shepherds were treated to a ‘great company of the heavenly host…praising God’ (Luke 2:13). Imagine the Shepherd’s hope as they made their way to the manger to see the fulfillment of what God had told them! They must have been elated to hear that their hopes of a savior and deliverance from the control of Rome was coming to fruition. They were so hopeful that they must have told everyone who would listen: the Savior is born in Bethlehem.
God sent a savior to a world in pain. The Savior was revealed to ordinary folks first. The Savior was born in an ordinary place, to an ordinary couple. Both Mary and Joseph were in an unimaginable situation but hoped that the messages they received from God were real and would bring hope to the nations.
But even more amazing to me is that God became human. I imagine that God wanted to experience humanity first-hand, much like when Mary Poppins and Bert became part of the chalk drawing they had made. If the Source of Creation chose to become like us, how can we ever feel alone? Or unloved? Or hopeless? Through Jesus, God knows EXACTLY how it feels to be human and hears us with real ears!
I’m so glad the Census was invented. It is proof that to Jesus we all count!
Core Idea: When all hope seems lost, God sends Jesus to say you are loved and valued.