World Power

by Dec 17, 2019Christmas, Christmas 2019, Devotional

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. ~ Luke 2:1

A few years ago I visited the White House. At one point during the tour, there was a very sudden, very noticeable flurry of activity. People were moving everywhere. Quickly. Staffers, SWAT Teams, Secret Service Agents. The reason? The President decided to go for a walk in the Rose Garden to stretch his legs. I learned that whenever the President changes location at the White House, over 100 other people move as well. When men of power move, the world seems to move with them like dominos. This is the kind of power that gets people’s attention. This is the kind of power that seems like it should change things. But it doesn’t. It never has.

The birth of Jesus was connected to this same kind of movement that men of power can create. Caesar Augustus wanted to register all the world – or at least the very substantial part that he controlled and taxed – and so all the world moved. At Caesar’s decree, the world moved. The dominos fell. Swept up in this move, in a tiny and troublesome province of Caesar’s dominion, were a middle class Jewish man and his pregnant wife. But nothing really changed. Caesar accomplished his registration, but he wasn’t changed and his world wasn’t changed. For all the movement and havoc he created, little of substance was accomplished.

And yet, within that movement, everything changed. Within that movement, a different and greater power was at work. A power no louder than the cry of newborn lungs. A power whose movement was limited by swaddling clothes, A power completely dependent on the care of a young mother and father. In the City of David a child was born. He forced no one to move, but His coming drew both humble shepherds and kings from afar. The child came not to overthrow the power of Caesar, but to fall victim to it. Caesar moved people by his own power and authority so he could build his empire; the child put down all of His power and authority so that others might enter His kingdom. Caesar’s power was bold and big and brash. It changed nothing. The child’s power was hidden and humble and holy. It changed the world.

Read Luke 2:1-7

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