May 09, 2016

The Revolution Begins

Luke 2:1-7

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

—  Luke 2:1

I watched on television as kings, presidents, celebrities, and prime ministers attended the memorial service of former South African president Nelson Mandela in 2013. People praised him as one of the last great 20th-century leaders in the world.

In 1962, Mandela was arrested for working against the apartheid regime in South Africa. He was imprisoned for 27 years. But in his obscure, small jail cell, Mandela began to set in place the building blocks of a peaceful revolution.

That follows the Lord’s style. Luke explains how God’s revolution began in a country town with an average young couple expecting a child in the midst of the Roman Empire. Jesus was then born in a cattle stall during a census ordered by the Roman caesar.

God began his revolution in a quiet, unannounced way. He picked Joseph and Mary, who was pregnant through the Holy Spirit, to bear and raise the child who would become the Savior of the world. Joseph’s bloodline traced back to King David, so they went to Bethlehem for the census. Mary’s delivery time was near, so they urgently looked for a guest room where she could have the child. The revolution was quietly beginning, and the “powerful” didn’t notice.

The revolution of God’s kingdom is found wherever we bend our knees and worship the Christ child who made room in his life for us.

Savior Jesus, your revolution has launched. Help me to notice your reign in my life each day. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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