Advent Meditation # 2

From John Piper’s Good News of Great Joy Daily Advent Readings

For God’s Little People

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus

that all the world should be registered. This was the first

registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And

all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph

also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to

Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem,

because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be

registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.”

—Luke 2:1–5

Have you ever thought what an amazing thing it is that God

ordained beforehand that the Messiah be born in Bethlehem

(as the prophecy in Micah 5 shows); and that he so ordained

things that when the time came, the Messiah’s mother and

legal father were living in Nazareth; and that in order to fulfill

his word and bring two little people to Bethlehem that first

Christmas, God put it in the heart of Caesar Augustus that all

the Roman world should be enrolled each in his own town?

Have you ever felt, like me, little and insignificant in a

world of seven billion people, where all the news is of big political

and economic and social movements and of outstanding

people with lots of power and prestige?

If you have, don’t let that make you disheartened or unhappy.

“For it is implicit in Scripture that all the mammoth political

forces and all the giant industrial complexes, without their

even knowing it, are being guided by God, not for their own

sake but for the sake of God’s little people—the little Mary and

the little Joseph who have to be got from Nazareth to Bethlehem.”

God wields an empire to bless his children.

Do not think, because you experience adversity, that the

hand of the Lord is shortened.

“It is not our prosperity but our

holiness that he seeks with all his heart.”

And to that end, he

rules the whole world. As Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart

is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever

he will.”

He is a big God for little people, and

“we have great cause to

rejoice that, unbeknownst to them, all the kings and presidents

and premiers and chancellors of the world follow the sovereign

decrees of our Father in heaven, that we, the children, might be

conformed to the image of his Son, Jesus Christ.”

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