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An Inconvenient Video

Devotionals 12.14.22

Dear Faith Family, 

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered,” (Luke 2:1). 

It was years ago.  My son had a vehicle that whined.  That’s right, whined.  So, like any other “fix it” dad, I decided to google it.  I was on a mission.  Assuming it was the serpentine belt, I searched for a video about changing the belt on that vehicle.  It was like the computer had a mind of its own!  Don’t you even act like you’ve never been at war with google before.  I didn’t care about the power steering reservoir.  Already checked that and it was full.  That’s not the problem. 

But this “mind of its own” computer was determined to show me a video on the power steering reservoir.  I discovered that people have spent thousands of dollars replacing the front end in order to silence the same whine.  It wasn’t the front end.  Instead, they found out the expensive way that it was the power steering pump reservoir!  Apparently, there is an internal filter that clogs, deprives the power steering pump of fluid, and, you guessed it, it whines (it’s thirsty).  Who knew? 

Somebody knew.  They learned the hard way.  And their inconvenient video (the one that kept getting in the way of my search for a serpentine belt video) directed me to a simple repair.  No more whine! 

Caesar Augustus was what I would call an inconvenient video.  Mary was already pregnant before marriage.  And, from my historical vantage point, pregnancy isn’t the easiest nine months of a mother’s life.  The nerve of him!  A decree?!  Mary and Joseph had to travel nearly 70 miles for a census.  No big deal unless you’re riding pregnant on a donkey.  Great, now they would see old friends and explain their current situation.  No worries, people had probably already seen it on Facebook. 

Tells you a lot about Caesar, about Mary, about Joseph, but even more about your God.  God not only fulfilled His Word (Micah 5:2), He fulfilled His Word using the pagan ruler of Rome!  God was / is the sovereign Ruler of His world (you know, the world that we get to live in). 

Interesting thought: the census was a tremendous opportunity for Mary and Joseph to tell the story of the birth of Jesus, the Christ.  You know: the meeting between Gabriel and Mary, the birth of John to a baren Elizabeth, the prophecy of Zechariah, and a virgin with child.  Wow!  Suddenly an inconvenient video becomes a convenient tool in the hands of the sovereign God! 

So, the next time an inconvenient video pops up on your life screen, you might want to look for the opportunity that comes with it.  God is still the sovereign God of this world: including us, our schedule, our encounters, our delays (on the highway and in the checkout line), and even our “interruptions” (pagans included).  So, load up, fasten your donkey’s seat belt, enjoy the ride, and offer someone a “Merry Christmas” on the way. 

Buckled up, 
Pastor Karl