Saturday, July 21, 2007

Luke #16 – Behind the Scenes

Luke #16 – Behind the Scenes

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city” (Luke 2:1-3 – King James Version).

I remember the first time I watched a documentary about the making of a movie. I was amazed at all the people that worked behind the scenes. Sure, I know each movie has a list of credits but I had only paid attention to who the actors were; never had I really looked at all the people that it takes to organize and film a cinematic production. Not only that, but there are a host of people who do the music for the average film. Many movies use songs that have been out for a long time making those folks who produced that song a larger part of the production team for the movie; they go unlisted for the most part on the movie credits. Then I began to consider movies that had been “shot on location” in various towns. All the people in that town or cities’ past who had built it became, at least in my mind, a part of making that movie. I carried to the “Nth” degree and began to think that that movie would have been drastically different had not it been shot in the United States, thus making all the people who made this country a part of the production. I know I got carried away; it was simply a matter of realizing that a lot goes into making a movie to get it to the point where I am viewing it in the theater or my home. Certainly there is much more than I had thought of before.

Those verses above make me think of a grand movie production. Without them I would be left wondering about a lot of the cast in the life of Jesus. We know that the mother of Jesus, Mary, was from Galilee. We know that Micah prophesied that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem (5:2). So…we are left with the dangling question: “How can Jesus be born in Bethlehem when His mom is from Galilee?” Easy…refer to Scripture above.

This “taxing” is not the kind that makes our American ears cringe at the hearing of the word. This was more like a census. Caesar wanted to know who all was in his kingdom. He had attempted to deify himself and wanted to number and locate all the folks who were supposed to worship him.

I read this one time and think “Typical government junk!” Upon a second reading I see so much more! God’s hand is clearly at work! Beyond a tyrannical emperor’s attempt to count himself god-like, GOD used that conceit to move people into place therefore making a seemingly unlikely prophecy become not only likely but proven fact. Amazing! This is an amazingly BIG production and God was clearly in the director’s seat. In the least…there was more going on behind the scenes than we can appreciate if we don’t take the FULL credits into account.

What’s this have to do with us, here, now? Our local, state, and national governments and international powers are all under the watchful eye and in the perfect will of God. Many of these powers may do things that we don’t agree with; sinful things; hurtful things. Don’t think for a minute that God does not notice! Don’t think for a second that our gracious and sovereign God cannot take man’s sinful ways and use them for His glorious ends.

As we sit back and look at the grand production unfold before our eyes, let’s be ever mindful that there is a sovereign Director behind the scenes moving players into place. We can take this realization and have a certain confidence that there is nothing to fear. Rather, there builds in me an excitement; knowing that I am in this production and have the Director’s favor in Christ Jesus. “Tax” me; I don’t care…behind the scenes, the beat goes on.

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