Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week 3 Day 3

Today's devotional is from Spark Your Joy by Margaret Feinberg.

In the second chapter of Luke, the author continues setting the scene of Christ's birth by explaining a somewhat ironic political situation.  At the time Caesar Augustus, the adopted son of Julius Caesar, was at the height of power.  Under his leadership, Rome had become an empire famed for its opulence and power.  Some people even referred to Augustus as "Savior," and as king he was known as "Lord."

During his reign, Augusts decreed the Pax Romana which commanded an end of wars and creation of order throughout the Roman Empire.  While peace was mandated by Caesar, many sects awaited a revolution-including the Jews.  The Jews waited for the Messiah to come as a military and political leader to establish Israel's throne in Jerusalem.  Against this powerful, wealthy backdrop, an infant is born to two peasants in a humble barnyard stable.

Compared to Caesar Augusts the rex, pontifex, maximus, infant Jesus was powerless, helpless, weak.

The one truth that will turn your week upside down is:

Caesar reigned from a throne; Jesus reigned from hay.

The irony lies in the God of peace entering the world through Jesus - offering divine peace by the one true King.  Caesar attempted to mandate peace.  All the while, the Prince of Peace was on His way.

Instead of whispering messages from the throne room of heaven, Jesus dives into the muck and mire of the world.  He heals, thirsts, stoops, protects, provides, teaches, holds, weeps, feels, hurts, hungers, suffers, raises, and leaves us wonderstruck again and again.

Christ's birth is a holy exclamation point that the King of kings is with us in a real and tangible way.  And that gives us reason for great joy.

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