12-24 Advent Devotional

God’s Census

Mary Austin

Luke 2:1-7

 The story of Jesus’ birth opens with a display of the emperor’s power, but the power of God is at work in even deeper ways. God’s plans are unfolding for people who have been waiting for centuries. A ruler now long forgotten issues an order, and his plans gets Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem to be part of God’s plans. God’s power is revealed, as the unlikely heir to David’s throne is born in the city of David.

History preserves the names of kings and queens, generals and inventors, but the Bible gives us the names of everyday women and men who are part of God’s plans. Mary. Joseph. Rahab. Ruth. Daniel. Lazarus, and so many more. If God were having a census, the registering of names would be completely different.

As the Christmas story is read, we can be sure that our names are counted in God’s registry, too. We each have a place in the Christmas story. In the year that Grace was an accountant, God was born into the world again. In the year that Bob was a teacher, Juan was an engineer, Darya was elected to the state house, God chose to be born into our world again. In the year that you or I took our place in God’s plans, the time came and God was born into the world again.

Faithful God,

Behind all of our waiting,

We know that your plans are growing to fulfillment.

Use our lives, we pray,

To be part of your story of love, grace and welcome.

In the name of the Christ Child, Amen.

Rev. Mary Austin is the pastor of Westminster Church, a diverse Presbyterian congregation in Detroit.

©2016 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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