In this, talk 2 of the ‘Not the usual Christmas’ series, Colin Adams focuses on three unusual things about the first Christmas.
First, an unusual level of power. Caesar Augustus, the ‘Illustrious Ruler’, orders everyone to return to where their family came from, for a census of the whole world. The Caesar thought his was the supreme power. But God’s power was higher. Caesar’s command sent Mary and Joseph to where God intended them to be.
Second, an unusual level of prestige. Mary’s baby was a royal baby: in the line of David; born in Bethlehem, the city of David, Israel’s greatest king. More than that, he was David’s greater son, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Third, an unusual level of poverty. Jesus’ prestige was masked by the poverty of his birth. He was laid in a manger because there was no guest room for him. This poverty and lack of welcome continued throughout his life and, at his death, the people said: “We will not have this man to reign over us”.