Friday, December 22, 2017

Nœl in Côte d'Ivoire

I am sitting at the bus station in Adjamé, Abidjan to wait for the next bus back to Bouaké. As I wait, I am opening my Bible to Luke 2. Bethany our Journey Corps volunteer asked me to read or speak verse 4 in German and send the video to her as she wants to put the first 20 verses in different languages together. As I was trying to memorize and then film myself saying that Joseph had to leave Nazareth to go to Bethlehem his birth town to get registered there because the Roman government at the time issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. Then it dawned on me, that it wasn’t just the people of Israel being on the move back to their birth towns, but the whole Roman world was on the road.

I was also on the road as the Ivorian government asked all immigrants outside the CEDEAO to register at the ONI (Organization of National Immigration) to get a residence permit for 5 years. Rod had a valid visa for a year so didn’t need to get registered yet. There were lots of people this morning to wait in line for their term of registration. I needed all sorts of documents like my birth certificate translated into French, a working permit, a police record certificate, etc.

Thinking about how they did it about 2017 years ago, I was wondering; 

·      Did Joseph and Mary have a birth certificate to prove they were born in Bethlehem? 
·      Did they get one for Jesus there? 
·      How long were the lines to get registered as the town was filled with people for this so that Joseph and Mary didn’t even find a shelter?

These were the circumstances and the right time, when God had Jesus, Immanuel, come into the world.

So God orchestrated this political registration at the time to keep his word as it was promised by the prophet Micah in chapter 5 verse 2, about 700 years B.C. that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and had the whole world moved to their birth towns, so that also Joseph would leave Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea, the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 
I can't even image what a chaos it might have been with lots of people walking from place to place finding shelter, then lining up to register in every town in the roman empire, then traveling back home again.

"But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship."                                                       Galatians 4, 4-5

"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased."                                                  Luke 2, 14

No comments:

Post a Comment