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Read Luke 2:1-5. TEXT: In those days a decree went out
from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered
(Luke 2:1).

Advent     When we last saw Mary in our story, she was
returning to her home in Nazareth, since Elizabeth was ready
to give birth. Luke moves us a few months forward to the
circumstances of Jesus' birth.

The prophet Micah announced that Jesus was to be born in
the southern town of Bethlehem, not in Mary's northern town
of Nazareth. To get her in the right place at the right time, God
works through an edict of the Roman Emperor Caesar
Augustus to bring her to Bethlehem to fulfill Micah's prophecy.

It must have been strange and a little scary for Mary and
Joseph to leave their familiar haunts to travel to Bethlehem.
But move they did, and from the events that followed Jesus'
birth, it seems probable they planned to stay in Bethlehem to
raise Jesus. In fact, they only left when warned in a dream to
flee (see Matthew 2:1-13). Even after the death of King Herod
who sought Jesus' life, Joseph may well have returned to
Bethlehem, until the Lord directed them to return to Nazareth
(see Matthew 2:22).

The paths of our lives can take some strange and frightening
turns. But no matter what doubts, fears and uncertainties may
be in your path, you don't travel it alone. The Christ Child came
into this world to assure us we will never be alone; He will be
with us wherever we go.


Heavenly Father, thank You for guiding the course of Jesus'
life--and ours. Give us confidence that You will never leave us
nor forsake us, that we may live in peace and confidence. In
Jesus' Name. Amen.

( Wayne Palmer Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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