Last Wednesday, I wrote about Zechariah and Elizabeth and the impossible pregnancy. This morning, I was reading about Jesus' birth in Luke 2. Luke gives very little detail about Jesus' birth.
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Seven simple verses to describe the birth of Jesus and most of these verses explain why Joseph who was from the town of Nazareth was even in Bethlehem.
I use a small group study Bible for my morning readings and one of the questions was, "Why was it important that Jesus be born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2)? Most days I skip over the sword drill questions, the ones that have you flipping all over the Bible but today I am having trouble starting the writing on my next book and so procrastinating I turn to Micah 5:2.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”
Prophesy foretold that Jesus would be from Bethlehem. And so God needed to get a very pregnant Mary to the city of David. Having traveled while pregnant, it takes a lot to motivate a tired, heavy with child, swollen ankled woman to leave home when she her body is preparing for birth. A census, decreed by the Roman Caesar, would be a good reason. Not a liked reason. I can imagine Joseph and Mary were not pleased with the oppressive Roman government telling them to travel at such a time. But an emperor's decree is compelling, especially when enforced by Roman soldiers.
And so Jesus was born, in Bethlehem, a town his family did not call home. All to fulfill the promises God had given the prophets during the dark days of captivity and destruction. God moved the pieces around so that everything lined up as it was meant to be.
I think back to when I was moving here to the Bay Area with preschoolers. We started looking for a preschool for the older two in May. Mind you we had already signed our kids up for preschool in what would become our former home in January. Because January is when preschool sign ups happen, sometimes even earlier, but never as late as May. Looking for a preschool in May is crazy. I never thought we would find the right school for my two boys. See not only did I need a preschool, I needed TWO slots for a preschool and it was MAY.
I have no idea how it happened but we found a preschool. Actually we found the perfect preschool that had a slot for both my older boys at exactly the same time on the same days. And it gets even better because this preschool we found through an internet search led us to the place that would become our church, which we love dearly.
To this day I believe that God was moving around the chess pieces just as they needed to be so that my boys could be at that school, so we would be introduced to that church, so we would find our spiritual home in this place.
Now I need to remember this. The right people, the right eyes, the right words, the right time. God is able to move all these things so that what He wants to accomplish will be. There is no impossible for Him.
Where has God made what seemed impossible possible in your life? Where has He shined in the improbable?