Daily D – Luke 2:1-7
Luke 2:1-7 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. (CSB)
My bride and I took an anniversary journey last summer to Washington State. We stayed at a boutique hotel located on Bellingham Bay. We drove each day to Mount Baker where snow was piled higher than our heads on the road leading over the top of the mountain. It was a great time of hiking and sightseeing.
I booked a hotel for us in Seattle for the evening before we flew home to Texas. The hotel is a grand old building that has stood there for many years. It was renovated by the Hilton chain as a one-of-a-kind experience. Its restaurant and bar are highly regarded by visitors to the city and local business leaders alike.
After touring Seattle’s Pike Place Market, including the first Starbucks location, we decided to check into our hotel and rest up a bit before we enjoyed a nice seafood dinner.
Trash was everywhere in the streets around the hotel. The only humans visible for blocks were homeless people. A tent city stood within a hundred yards of our hotel entrance. Every business was closed.
I climbed the steps to the hotel entrance only to discover there was no doorknob or handle or anything to grip, push, or pull. The hotel was closed. From the looks of things, it had been closed a long time. We had wandered into the part of town that was so frequently on the news during the worst of the troubles earlier in the year.
We paid for that special hotel experience with points. Now to find another hotel was going to cost real money and more than average. We decided we would see if we could change our flight from the next morning to that night. As it turns out, there were two seats on the last flight to DFW. The change fee was about what we would pay for a decent hotel at the airport.
Our bed felt so good that night.
Tomorrow we are taking a morning flight to Houston to see our grandson play drums in the praise band at a Christmas Eve service. The good thing is that we do not have to carry luggage since we are driving back home with our grandson and his parents after the worship service.
It will be a busy day at the airport and at BUC-EES on the way home. Even so, we will get to sleep in our own beds. There is something about our own beds, even when the mattress could use replacing, that enables us to rest better.
Mary, Joseph, and Jesus spent their first night together, and probably a few more, in circumstances much less accommodating than their beds back home. This would not be the last time their journeys would take them away from comfort and rest. Inconvenience and danger shadowed their every step. Hearing and obeying God can be like that, can’t it?
Sometimes a manger and a tightly-wrapped newborn are as good as it gets.
Sometimes having a carpenter and stonemason as a husband and surrogate dad comes in handy.
Sometimes simple starts lead to universal change.
I wonder what inconveniences lie ahead? I wonder how our Father in heaven will use them to provide growth, development, and service in his name? I wonder what he wants to do through those challenges?
I will trust and obey as he leads the way.
Our Father, you used Caesar Augustus to move Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to the very place they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there. You led wise men from afar to a small town and a small boy. You led Mary, Joseph, and Jesus away from that small town and the death sentenced pronounced and carried out by a madman. You led them into Egypt and then back, at last, to home. What an adventurous beginning! It looks as if the travelogue of our lives is all your idea. I will remember that next time I am inconvenienced along the way. I will ponder, like Mary, what does this make possible? After all, nothing is impossible with you. Amen.
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Jeremiah 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.