Bethlehem Times

Census Brings Hundreds to…

Hundreds of citizens are flooding into the small town of Bethlehem as they return to ancestral homes for the Enrollment of Quirinius, buy viagra try census of the Roman Empire.

Our most honorable Caesar Augustus has decreed that all the world must be taxed.   Failure to report the correct accounting of every family member and all property will result in strict punishment.  Caesar has issued taxes on all property, including camels. Cattle, and donkeys.  Reporting of all family members is required.  Boys old enough to carry a sword are being recruited by the government and Caesar’s regiments.   Roman citizens are reminded that they will be exempt from all taxes.

Travelers are expected to arrive from great distances since Bethlehem is the city of King David and many descendents of Israel’s greatest king will be returning for registration.   The Bethlehem Inns  which are small in number expect to do a banner business.   Some have tripled their bedroom rentals in order to take advantage of this timely event.

On a side note, sporadic reports of a coming Messiah have surfaced.

A seeming false hope still held by many misguided Judeans.

Bethlehem, Tribe of Judea

Month-December  4 B

By Judas Iscariot Sr.

Teachable Moment

At evening time when your family sits down for dinner, take out a newspaper and read a few headlines.   Ask your children to thumb through the front pages looking for other key headlines that are present in the newspaper.   Ask them to catalogue the most repeated subjects.   Then ask them to find articles in the newspaper about the workings and movement of God.   And their answer is….????   None!   That’s what the world thinks about the daily activity of God, the One who created them.  Read as a family   Psalm 139:13-18 and ask your children how the world could be so remise in forgetting to write every day about God.   Afterward select one of your children to read the fictional account above, and ask all of your children to help rewrite it the way it should be written.   Type out their rewrites and put it in a newspaper format.  On Christmas Eve, pass their Bethlehem Times out to the neighborhood.   What a terrific way for your family to close out the 20th Century.

God’s Word

Psalm 139: 13-18   For thou didst form my inward parts: Thou didst cover me in my mother’s womb. 14I will give thanks unto thee; For I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well. 15My frame was not hidden from thee, When I was made in secret, And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them. 17How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! 18If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: When I awake, I am still with thee.

Luke 2:1-12   Now it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled. 2This was the first enrolment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3And all went to enroll themselves, every one to his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; 5to enroll himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with child. 6And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. 9And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: 11for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this is the sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.