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The Cast of Advent: December 20 – Quirinius

“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” (Luke 2:1-2).

Luke mentions Quirinius in his gospel to establish a time stamp for Jesus’ birth. Some historical records do not sync with Luke’s account, but that’s a matter for historians to figure out. Quirinius was of the Roman ruling class, racked up a few military successes and secured an appointment as governor of Syria at a time when the Roman empire was powerful and influential. The fact that Luke mentions him implies name recognition, at least among those who would read his gospel.

Jesus was born in a world of empires and emperors, governments and governors, military campaigns and political appointments. In this context the creator of the universe, the author of life and the savior of all isn’t even a blip on the radar. The big dogs didn’t know, didn’t care and weren’t even in the picture when Jesus began his public ministry.

But much later, in the seventh century, someone decided that Jesus’ birth would be a time stamp to keep track of time and history. That’s when AD, anno domini, “year of our Lord,” was used to measure the passing of years. Whether you acknowledge who Jesus is or not, you acknowledge his presence in this world each time you simply write out the year.

God knows the timeline of each of our lives. He knew us before we were born, heard our first cry, and knows the number of our days. Each moment of our days is significant to him.

Thank you, Lord, for each one of my days, here in this world and with you in eternity. Amen.

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