Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of December 23, 2012
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of December 23, 2012
Today is the last Sunday in Advent. Have you gotten
your new MCC Liturgical Calendar for Year C, November
2012 through November 2013? It is available on the
Chi Rho Press Web site at
Please order your copies now.
Please feel free to forward this to your pastors,
other clergy, music directors, worship teams, and
anyone else you think would benefit from it.
Here is the link to the Liturgical Calendar:
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you
for forwarding this to your friends.
"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."
The U.S. government recently completed a national census.
Many gay and lesbian-affirming Christian churches even
preached on the vital need to be seen, heard, counted,
and identified in order to change the many unjust, cruel,
and homophobic laws that promote bigotry and deny sexual
minorities basic human rights. Some citizens received
different forms in the mail for the census, asking for
very personal information. Other people angrily refused
to answer the census based on their distrust of the
government and their desire for privacy. The government
hired temporary employees to go door to door, to find
citizens who had refused to answer the census. Those
people refusing to cooperate were issued financial fines.
The census Joseph experienced in first century Israel was
a much different experience. He had no choice but to
travel an arduous and dangerous road to his hometown to
register. There was no other alternative but to bring
Mary, who was almost nine months pregnant and ready to
give birth. Joseph obeyed the Roman census law. The
consequences were severe for those refusing to cooperate.
The Roman government did not make exceptions for hardship
cases among the peasant class.
Joseph's obedience to civil law fulfilled ancient prophecy.
Bethlehem was both the town where King David was born (1
Samuel 17:12; 20:6), and it was where the ancient prophets
expected the long awaited Messiah to be born. "But you,
Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans
of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to
rule in Israel, whose origin is from old, from ancient
days" (Micah 5:2, NRSV).
Remember that God has already counted and included each
of us as dearly loved people. Let us prepare for Christmas
with joyful celebration, secure in knowing we are valued,
precious, cherished, and beloved in God's sight.
God, not only have you counted us by name, but you even
know our deepest concerns and needs. Thank you for being
so wonderful and loving. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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