Monday, December 9, 2013
Each to His Own Town
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
A universal enrollment of those living in the Roman Empire is unknown outside the New Testament, and there are further difficulties in pegging the year of Christ’s birth to a specific year; yet this lack of tidy detail has not hampered the story of the Christ Child. Scholars tell us that “It is not by chance that Luke relates the birth of Jesus to the time of Caesar Augustus: the real savior (11) and peace-bearer (14; see also 19, 38) is the child born in Bethlehem. The great emperor is simply God’s agent (like the Persian king Cyrus in Is 44, 28-45, 1) who provides the occasion for God’s purpose to be accomplished”. (Senior 101) The story of this child born in obscure beginnings still reverberates throughout the world today.
God says: Why do you struggle to pin Jesus’ birth to a specific point in your calculation of time when he is eternal in my own time? These are details you need not chase but I understand that there are those among you who crave the feeling of comfort this exactness brings to you. Expand your horizon beyond your small place and strike out to enroll yourselves in your own town which is my own heart. As you journey, remember that the greatest among you are the least, and the least among you are the greatest. Has my own presence among you in the person of Jesus not told you so? Has my own Spirit not abided with you to comfort you and to remind you of my constant presence in your lives? Each of you is precious to me for each of you is my own sweet child. Always remember . . .
The detail of life obscures and fogs our thinking. The big picture draws us away from the many tiny indicators of God’s presence. Somewhere between the large and small is where truth lies and the truth is this: Each of us is a child of God; each of us is precious to God; and each of us makes a pilgrimage to the place we hold as our own. Let us pray that this place is God’s own heart.
To learn more about the difficulty in determining the exact year of Christ’s birth, go to: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/what-year-was-jesus-born-the-answer-may-surprise-you or http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/jesus-birth-year-wrong-pope-article-1.1205825
Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.101. Print.