Luke 2:1-7 (NASB)
1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Heavenly Father, there are so many miracles of Christmas–a virgin birth prophesied for hundreds of years, a young couple willing to risk being ostracized to carry out Your will, a woman long past child-bearing age bearing the forerunner to Christ. One of those miracles is Your using a secular ruler to carry out Your plan. Caesar Augustus ordered a census, in his mind for his selfish purposes, but actually for Your purposes, to ensure that the Messiah would be born in the city of David. Help us to remember this when we fret and worry over the misdeeds of secular officials. They may think they are doing what they want to do, and their actions may be evil. Yet they do nothing without Your allowing it. No matter who think they are in control, Lord, help us to remember and understand that it is always You and You alone in control of everything that happens. Though we see actions and short-term results that are evil, but on Your timeline and in Your plan, all things work together to good for those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. In the name of Jesus. Amen.