Sunday after Christmas: Time for a Change

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered….

Thus begins the Christmas story so many of us are accustomed to hearing.  The story sounds regal and beautiful, and that’s no accident!  It begins with reminding us of the power of the Roman emperors to move people around at will.  It continues along a pattern we see whenever there is a royal wedding or birth.  I remember during the eighties, when I was a kid, seeing the photo spreads in grocery store magazines about the royal weddings and births in Great Britain.  Everything was documented in minute detail–down to the number of hand-embroidered diapers given by visiting diplomats–and made public to remind everyone what a monumental event just happened.

Luke details the birth, the first visitors, the announcement … but it all happened in a rough stable with poor people.  Each detail reminds us of two things:  how important the birth of Christ is, and how much God intends to change things.  (For a great article on this, see this from the Presbyterian Outlook in 2005.)

So as a spiritual practice to close out Advent and Christmas, practice paying attention to details.  Pay attention to where God is at work in every situation, especially the situations that seem the most hopeless.  Think about details, even the most minute, that God may want to change.  Where are you in the details?

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