“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered” (Luke 2:1).
It’s easy to feel insignificant in a world of seven billion people, where news headlines are dominated by political and economic movements, led by people with power and prestige. Don’t be disheartened, for Christmas serves as a constant reminder that these mammoth forces are not the authors of redemptive history.
While the powerful often use the common people for their own purposes, the Christmas story reminds us that God uses them – even without their knowing it – to serve the kingdom of God. God used the oppressive power of Rome, who decreed that insignificant Mary and Joseph be registered in their hometown, to fulfill the prophet’s Micah’s prophecy:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel” (Micah 5:2).
Do not think that, because our well being is often dependent on government policies and corporate practices, God’s purposes are thwarted. God seeks our holiness, not our prosperity. To that end, God rules the whole world. As Proverbs 21:1 says, “In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.”
The Christmas story gives us hope that God is for the little people. We have great cause to rejoice because presidents, CEO’s and other billionaires of the world follow the sovereign decrees of God, so that we, the little people, might be conformed to the image of that peasant baby who was born in a manger.