December Article

   Grace and peace to you!


   Advent and the Christmas Season is upon us. For some it is a joyous time of preparation and celebration. For others it can be difficult and stressful. And still for others, the “Christ” ofChristmas gets lost in the business of the Season and can seem a bit distant through it all.


   In the second chapter of Luke, the birth story of Jesus begins with this, starting with verse 1, "In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria." Why was it important for St. Luke to include this seemingly unimportant information with the 1st Christmas story?


   In the days when Jesus was born, there were no birth certificates like today. Rather than leaving it to speculation, St. Luke included this information to anchor it in history. Quirinius, also spelled Cyrenius, was a real person. He lived 51 BC – AD 21 and twice served as governor of Syria and Judea. He first served as governor general of the army of the region and the second
time he was appointed by Caesar Augustus as legate governor of Syria and Judea until 12 AD. St. Luke gave us a sort of birth certificate for Jesus' birth. It tells the reader that Jesus is a real person, and not some mythical deity. Historical records show that Quirinius was directed by Caesar Augustus to register people in his regions for the purpose of taxing the people.
Also, at the beginning of St. Luke's gospel, in chapter 1, verses 1-4, Luke wrote, "Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have
certainty concerning the things you have been taught."


   St. Luke wrote the birth account of Jesus so that Theophilus could understand that Jesus is a genuine, real person, and that he could know for certain those things he had been taught and had come to hope upon. We can, as well as Theophilus, read and know the same during those times when Jesus may seem distant to us, or lost in all the Christmas stuff. We can look to the Christmas story and know for certain Jesus is real. He was born at a place and time, he lived like us, suffered like us, and died on the cross for our sins. God the Father rose him from the tomb so we could also know the mercy and joy of the Lord's forgiveness.  I hope you have a joyous Christmas celebration this year. God blessings to you!


   Pastor Rob Taylor