“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee… To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there… she brought forth her firstborn son…” ~ Luke 2:1, 3-4, 5-7
The ‘king’ of the world was Caesar Augustus, the emperor of the Roman Empire. Caesar had the power to demand that everyone in his kingdom travel from wherever they lived to a special city for taxation: to give him as much money he required. And he did.
Joseph, like all the other common men in the Roman Empire had to travel (some for very long distances) to ‘family’ cities and pay taxes to Caesar.
However, while Joseph was in Bethlehem, The KING of the Universe made His presence known. Instead of asking for men to give to Him, God gave Himself to men in the form of Jesus, our Saviour. And, rather than asking us to physically journey to Him, He sent His Gift to us.
The earthly king (Caesar) was focused on taking from mankind, and they would have to bring their ‘gifts’ to him. The Heavenly King was focused on giving His Gift to mankind and He would send His Gift to them.
Whose example should we follow?
This Christmas let us first accept the Gift of God: Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus. Then let us follow the example of the King of Kings and focus our attention on carrying a gift to others in need. Especially, let us tell others about Jesus, the greatest Gift of all.
Finally, the earthly kingdom in which we live is always trying to take from us:
→It tries to take away our time (how much time do we spend doing things that don’t matter);
→It tries to take away our thoughts (there are so many useless things to think about: what color scheme will your house be decorated in this Christmas?… Does it really matter?);
→It tries to take away our focus on Jesus (How much of Christmas will we spend ‘in the manger’ with Jesus? How much of Christmas will we spend ‘in the mall’ with Caesar?)
On the other hand, in God’s Kingdom life is about giving. Let us spend this Christmas giving our time to the lonely and let us give our thoughts to Jesus (meditating on Him). And let us spend this Christmas loving each other instead of things.