Series: The Call of Christmas
Message: The Call to Praise
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 44:1-8.
Read: Luke 2:1-20—As you read in the ESV translation, note 1-3 insights/questions that arise.
Reflect: Often when I approach the Bible, and attempt to read the text afresh, my first exercise is to ask, why include this instead of something else? John in his Gospel, reminds us that he only wrote some of the stories, his one purpose only too as stated in (John 20:30-31).
“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
So if every word matters, which I believe it does, why would Luke share details about Caesar Augustus? Why would he draw our attention to the policy of the day? Perhaps to contrast the “good news” that Caesar claimed with the real “good news” that the shepherds were about to experience. Perhaps to show that while Caesar is moving everyone around so he can carry out his census, this brings Mary into the town of Bethlehem so that the prophecy would be fulfilled about the Messiah’s birth place. Perhaps to move us into a space that this is not just “a simple nativity set,” but in fact a deeply politically charged environment, God intervenes.
Respond: Pray for patience.
Research: Providential. Find a good definition and Biblical grounding for your understanding of providence.