All went to their own towns to be registered. (v 3)

Luke 2:1-20 Tuesday 25 December 2018

Psalm: Psalm 110


Some eight plus months after the visit of the angel, we find Mary travelling with Joseph to his ancestral home, Bethlehem. Not for any party or Christmas celebration but to be registered, so that the Roman authorities might be able to tax them. It didn’t matter how pregnant you might be – the journey had to be travelled!

Christmas day in the UK is a wonderful day for travelling; at least it is for car drivers – I know, I’ve done it many a year! Morning service celebrated then a car journey to join with the ones I love. The roads are usually quiet and the hassle of the preparation period is passed and done. Today is a day to be enjoyed.

Joseph travels to his ancestral home; not where he belongs now, but where his family line comes from. In the 21st century it is not unusual for people to link Christmas to travelling back to family. Today many people will travel to families, to church, to be with others in need. Some will meet together and will celebrate, others will not get on and yet others will struggle to know where they might go (back) to.

The myths of the perfect Christmas can often lead us to thinking others’ lives are more perfect than ours has turned out to be. For the shepherds, doing their regular everyday job, there was no planned travelling or party or even place to call home, just another ordinary evening – or so they thought until God showed up.

Whether you are at home or travelling somewhere else today it’s worth travelling back into the word of God, to hear the message for each one of us:

"Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord."

It’s a message that makes the shepherds get up and rush down to Bethlehem. It’s a message that has called people ‘home’ for years. It’s the message that puts our name in God’s register, filed under ‘Loved by God’.


To Ponder:

  •  Where might God be calling you back to?
  • What does the message “Do not be afraid” mean to you today?
  • How does the gift of God in Jesus make you want to react today? Could you do something unexpected? Maybe a phone call or message to someone you’ve not registered with for a long time?
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