All the World’s People
The story of the birth of Jesus, as told in the Gospel of Luke, occurs in the midst of an exhaustive and ambitious human project: a census designed to record and register every person in the entire world. The successful completion of such an endeavor held great strategic potential for the Roman Empire. With the data collected, government and commerce could be more efficient and effective. Opportunities and threats could be predicted more accurately. Lives could improve. Wealth could increase. Rome could unite the world.
It is very unlikely that Caesar’s census achieved its lofty goals. Luke doesn’t elaborate further. There’s no historical record of such a census being completed. However, it is within the backdrop of such raw ambition and immense scope that a single humble birth is recorded and remembered. A vulnerable baby stands apart from any person who lived that day, before or since.
One of the Angels of the Lord said: “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”
Holy God. Today we give thanks and celebrate the birth of the One by which you truly unite the world’s people – Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scott Simmons is a Mission Developer at Lydia’s Place in Saint Paul, MN.
©2017 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group. This work is published under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.