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Updated: Dec 17, 2018

Text: “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.”

“Silent Night, Holy Night!”

“O Little Town of Bethlehem, How Still we see thee lie…”

These are beautiful carols, and it’s always wonderful to hear them sung with gusto and enthusiasm at Christmas time, and sung they must be.

But friends, without taking away from these beautiful songs, I have to wonder how Silent, or how calm Bethlehem really was that first Christmas.

If we read the opening words of Luke 2, we are not given a very serene or calm scenario; in fact it appears to be one of busyness in Bethlehem.

There would have been a hustle and bustle about town: a busy scene; a rushed scene.

Looking on from the outside, it could appear to be quite a chaotic and messy scenario in Bethlehem and surrounds.

Now we wouldn’t normally associate the word “messy” with Christmas, would we? But we have to admit, all things considered, things would not have been all that “organised”! You know what – I think that’s great! It makes me realise afresh that its into this chaotic, upside-down world that our Lord was born, to bring order to the chaotic and to turn the “upside down”, right side up!


Thank you Dear Lord, that you did not wait

For perfection and order before you came;

Into our mess, our chaos, calamity you were born,

So that things would never again be the same.

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