An Ordinary World

An Ordinary World

Daily Devotion for Advent | Saturday, December 22, 2018

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

Luke 2:1-5

Luke starts the story of Jesus’ birth by dating it to a tax registration—the one when Quirinius was governor, he says. Of all the things to use to date the birth of the Son of God! Luke could have picked something more exciting, more interesting—perhaps the death of a famous person, or the date of a battle, or the invention or discovery of some important object. But he doesn’t do this. Luke goes for the old, eternal standby—because as the proverb tells us, two things are guaranteed in life: death and taxes.

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In some moods this strikes me as funny. Could Luke have possibly picked something more boring? And yet it’s wholly appropriate, isn’t it? Because Jesus was coming into a humdrum, everyday world—a world filled with ordinary, boring, and occasionally painful things like taxes. His life would be filled with ordinary meals, ordinary activities like waking, sleeping, walking, talking to friends, and so on. His public ministry didn’t even start until He was about 30 years old. Before that, what? Probably the weekly round of work, worship, and caring for a family—ordinary things. So ordinary that Luke doesn’t even bother to write them down.

But it’s appropriate that our Savior should have had this sort of life for so long. Because these were the kind of people He was coming to save—people like us, with work to do and taxes to pay and dinner to cook. Few of us are rich or famous. Our lives are not all excitement, all the time. But our need for a Savior who loves us and understands us is truly all the time. We will never not need Jesus, not for a single moment. And because of God’s love for us, we have Him—more sure and certain than anything—even death or taxes.


Father, thank You for sending Your Son to us in our ordinary world, to be our Savior. Amen.


What is the most boring part of your day?

Many fictional so-called “gospels” make up exciting stories about miracles in Jesus’ childhood. Why do you think they do this?

What does it mean to you that God is with you in the middle of taxes, paperwork, or cooking dinner?

Brought to you in partnership with Lutheran Hour

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About These Devos

THE COMING KING Advent Devotions 2018

The coming Savior’s birth was foretold by the prophets of old and later experienced by many who were on hand as He came into this world. Mary and Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth, Simeon, shepherds, wise men from the east, a legion of angels, and even King Herod—all play their parts in the Gospel narratives that speak of the Savior’s incarnation. Explore the many ways their lives were touched as God became one of us, for each of us, in The Coming King.

Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide in its mission of Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church.