Luke 2:1 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.5 He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.
When we think about birth we get all misty thinking about the start of a baby's life and all that encompasses. We can almost see in our mind the future exploits they will take on beginning with crawling, then forming words like Popsie and Andi, and then walking and running. We can visualize what the future holds for them and visualize school, maybe sports, making friends, planning for a career as they complete High School, and so on. Birth is just the beginning and so much hinges on that birth being successful because there is more on the horizon for that baby.
The above verses reference that Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem for a census because it was the town of his ancestor David. Mary was pregnant with Jesus and He was born while in Bethlehem. We celebrate one of our favorite holidays, Christmas because of that birth. The words of the song Mary Did You Know really say a lot about the birth of the Son of God. Here are some of the lyrics. Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water? Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your Baby Boy has come to make you new? This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you. The baby that you will deliver will soon deliver you? That is exactly what happened and praise God for the humble beginnings of a baby who was born and laid in a humble manger. Jesus, the Savior of the world. Because of His birth, we have a rebirth, a spiritual birth, that is made possible by that baby growing into a man and dying on the cross for the sins of the world.
If we were able to look into that place of birth we may or may not see the possibilities of all this child's birth would bring. We might not have great expectations, but if we were to believe the Word of God and the prophecies or revealings of God through the prophets we might look at the humble birth and see great hope on the horizon because He is the Son of God who comes to earth as a child. Because of the Great Expectation of the birth of Jesus Christ, we can have great expectations about every person and what the great experience of salvation can do in any person's life. So we must never minimize the effect of the Holy Spirit in a person's life and believe God uses even humble beginnings to accomplish His will and give us Great Expectations. To me, that is the value of every human being that is born and even though we are not worthy of God doing anything in our lives, He graciously chooses to give us Great Expectations when having that new birth experience. Of course, God chooses that for "whosoever will" come to Him and at the moment of rebirth, our new life of Great Expectations begins.
Jesus' birth makes possible our rebirth in the Spirit and that is when our life truly begins. Let this Christmas be a time to thank God for Jesus and thank God for the salvation He gives to all who come to Him by faith. Then let the process of "real" life kick in and place yourself in the Master's hands to be used by Him. God revealed what He does when we trust Him in the following prophecy given to the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 18 verses 5-8 5 Then the Lord gave me this message:6 “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.7 If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed,8 but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned.
America. Time to come back to God. God's people in America. Time to stand in the Great Expectations of faith that only God can give to His children because of that rebirth made possible by the sacrifice of His one and only Son, Jesus. It all begins with prayer and continues with action!! May the Lord be seen in those who lift up His name unashamedly and may we realize the very truth of the Apostle Paul's life as he writes in Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
We are the clay and God is the potter who is molding us every day. Isaiah 64:8 And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. What is God forming in your life and are you accepting His call to be formed? To be born again spiritually means it all begins when you receive Jesus as Savior and that is the beginning of your Great Expectations.
The Pilgrimage Continues...