Quirinius. Herod. Pontius Pilate. Caesar Augustus. None of these men are Christians, as far as we know. And apart from the life of Jesus, at least three of them would be remembered as little more than a name on a list in an obscure footnote of an uneventful season in an unimportant place. But they were part of Jesus’ life on earth, and their stories help us understand the story of Christ with greater depth and meaning. Today’s reading explores the significance of the historical facts surrounding Christ’s birth and connects that historical moment to the moment we live in today.
- Galatians 4:4-6
- Watch for the Light, 247-250
- Why do the gospels give such specific details about the exact time and place of Jesus’ birth? How does knowing the exact circumstances surrounding his birth encourage or strengthen your faith in Christ today?
- Jesus was born to a poor people, a group considered unimportant and dominated by foreign rulers. Yet He chose to join them in those circumstances and rose victorious from that poverty. Gutierrez says, “It is in the concrete setting and circumstances of our lives that we must learn to believe…” (250). What do you see in our world that causes you to feel hopeless, powerless, or unimportant? Do you see evidence of Jesus meeting us in those dire circumstances and bringing life and faith to his people?
Take time to pray over those circumstances you just listed, asking God bring mercy and justice to the broken. Are you grieved by deep poverty? The ongoing evil of abortion that plagues our nation? The broken state of so many homes and marriages? Tell these things to God, and pray that He would use us – his people, the body of Christ – to bring hope and healing to the afflicted. Finally, praise the Lord for the confident hope we have Christ is coming soon to bring peace, justice, and salvation to all who are waiting for him.