December 17: Luke 2:1-5
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
Prayer: Dear God, you do your wonderful work in ways that are not always obvious, through people who are not the obvious choice, in places which are not the centres of power. You brought Jesus to birth in out-of-the-way Bethlehem, to a humble carpenter and a young pregnant wife, through a seemingly prosaic tax census. And yet these factors came together in the greatest miracle of all, which would forever change our world. Help us to see that we, too, as insignificant as we are, far from the centres of power, have nonetheless an important part to play in bringing your plan to fruition. Amen.