Luke 2:1-3 – “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.”
Before the Christ Child was born there was a world in motion. The Leaders of that time were busy and things were changing.
Caesar Augustus was the first emperor of the Roman Empire. It is said that one of his greatest weaknesses was that he worshiped the pagan Roman gods, but worse yet, he allowed himself to be worshiped.
No not one should be worshiped other than the one true living God; Father, Son and Spirit. Exodus 20:4-6 puts it this way, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
While we may be quick to judge Caesar Augustus, we must be careful because many people today – worship Christmas itself for the gifts, parties and celebrations – leaving Christ completely out of it. Which is no better than Caesar Augustus!
There was also Quirinius a Roman governor that had the responsibility to fulfill the decree set out by Caesar Augustus. However, it is interesting to study a little about him because although he was over Syria, it is said that he was sensitive to the Jewish people. He did not use the Roman tradition rule to take the census. He allowed the Jews to take the census by tribes and households.
The roots of Jesus can be traced back to the beginning of time, which can be read in Matthew 1. In the days of the census being taken, the Israelite people had to return to their roots, Mary and Joseph obeyed there Leaders of the day and went back to their roots. But ones earthly roots only play a part of defining what they become or what they will be able to accomplish.
Leaders come and go. They have their plans and agendas. But they are people just like each of us. They eat, sleep, dream, hope, hate, love, live and die. They have an opportunity to make an impact for a time, but they can never change the plans of God. Nor can any leader stop the real meaning and impact of Christmas in the hearts of people.
We can however pray for our Leaders of today – even as we celebrate Christmas. And may we pray for the many Leaders in our world that should remember – that the Child that laid in the manger years ago – is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and allows them to hold for a brief moment in time their place in leadership.