“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.”
– Luke 2:1-3 (NIV)
Hundreds of years before Christ’s human birth, God prepared the world for Him and prepared the way for His earthly parents to arrive i noted little town of Bethlehem. Today God continues to prepare for us, because He’s in everything we do. Sometimes we see, and sometimes we don’t.
Even when we don’t understand a situation or see how something routine or unremarkable could be God’s work, we can pay attention and open ourselves up to His guidance by taking nothing for granted, by serving with a willing heart.
Time spent with family and friends is preparation for something wonderful. Kindness to strangers and patience in difficulty is preparation for something wonderful. Private, quite time listening to God and learning about Him is preparation for something wonderful. Christmas reminds us of His attention to detail and long-range planning, and He’s granted us the gift of being a part of His work that still goes on today.
We all have many “Bethlehems” we’re heading to in our lives, and God will see that we’re prepared when we get there. He will prepare the way and prepare us for the way. Jesus’ carefully planned birth reminds us of that, and His life enables us to be part of all that’s to come.
Father, thank you for the gift of your divine preparation and please help us prepare for all You’ve planned for our family today and always.
At the census in Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph and the other people were counted. Help your children count something else–days. On your family calendar or a big, colorful calendar just for the kids, on each day starting today, draw a heart or a cross and tell your children that that symbol will remind all of you to pray every day to be prepared for God’s will. Pray as a family and encourage your children to say their private prayers, too.