“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.”
It’s really hard for us to break our patterns and this time of year is no exception. There becomes expectations on where we are to be, when and with whom. When we break them, it is hard. But, sometimes we have to and if for the right reasons it will be okay. Some might be facing what it is that they have to do for work in the next couple of days and into next week. So, yes, some patterns are out of our control. But, it can also be healthy to change the patterns that have become too much of the norm that they have turned to routine. It’s a great time to reconsider what patterns should be changed so that they new year is started fresh, sharp and with enthusiasm.
I ran across this sign on Valencia Street in San Francisco. Someone had taped it to their buildings entry buzzer.
It reminded me that we all fall into our patterns and we have to pay attention to ensure that even what seems good does not get away from us and we miss the real meaning. That’s our culture’s Christmas problem! We get going so fast and deep into the Christmas “activities” that we forget to stop and remember what it is all about. Yes, we need to break patterns sometimes in order to get to the deeper reason. We all know the Christmas story and we know that in order for Jesus to be born where he was supposed to be born, Augustus Caesar had to throw the entire Roman Empire out of their pattern. He had decreed that there be a census and everyone had to return, at the same time, to their native town in order to be counted. We don’t know, but this had to be chaotic and none could have been too happy to have to travel just to be counted. What we often miss in the story is that even before Jesus was born he was breaking a pattern and turning everything upside down.
Christmas is just a few days from now. There is still time for us to break a pattern and start a new one for Him!
Reference: Luke 2:1-3 (New Living Translation)