December 14: Prepare (Advent Devotional 2014)

Luke 2:1-7 In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.


It is easy, sometimes, to step out in faith and trust God and the calling he places on our lives. We never know what events will happen. The real question is how we will handle these events.

Joseph could have told Mary he would be back after registering, thinking the journey would be too arduous for her to travel that distance. But there must have been a sense of pride and ownership for the life and the child and his wife that Joseph felt. So, he went to Bethlehem to have his wife and child placed under his name. This act also fulfilled what God spoke through the prophet Micah saying the child will be born in Bethlehem.

When situations arise, and they do not seem to fit with the life God has called you to live, do you look at them at them as distractions that do not fit? Or, could we just continue to step out and look back to see how our lives and events really fit together? Often, looking back we can see how the events in our lives are actually woven together in a beautiful tapestry; but we cannot see it at the time it takes place.

Jesus, the events of your birth seem like they do not fit together; but knowing the full story, we can see God moving in your earthly parents’ lives. May we live to see God moving in our lives daily and trust him unconditionally, even when it doesn’t make sense. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

Published by Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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