Daily Dose, Dec. 21 — Christmas Characters

            In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7) Caesar Augustus ruled Rome and all the civilized world on the day that Christ was born.  He was worshiped as a god in many places and people burned incense to honor him when he came to town.  He had the power to tax people and he is the reason that Mary and Joseph were traveling when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  But, nobody but a few historians would even know his name if God had not orchestrated the happenings of Christmas.  Old Gus was scanning the menu for steak and lobster on a forgotten evening in Rome as God was doing his very best work.  Meanwhile, in a distant province to the south, in a forgotten nation that was without the power to govern its own citizens, in a barn with cows and sheep, a child was born and wrapped in swaddling clothes by a young country girl from Nazareth.  The way in which God chooses to redeem the world is a remarkable mystery beyond the wildest imaginings of one and all.  -- Dr. Don Martin