It may be that the Roman Empire was history’s greatest empire. The Roman Empire was led by a series of Caesars. At the time of the birth of Jesus Christ that Caesar was Caesar Augustus and his empire surrounded the entire Mediterranean Sea! Caesar Augustus was a man of great authority and he decreed that a census should be taken of the entire world, or at least the Roman world, because that’s the only world that mattered to him. He wanted to know just how many people and just how much power his empire had. While the census was being taken, a young virgin named Mary gave birth to a baby boy. The birth of that baby was announced to shepherds by a multitude of angels who filled the sky with praise. Those shepherds in turn were filled with so much joy to see the newborn Christ, that they told everyone they met. This newborn Christ was the one to live and give Good News of salvation for all people everywhere.
Empires, kingdoms, countries and nations come and go, taking up their tiny little dot on history’s timeline. But there is one King whose kingdom is eternal. His is a kingdom of joy, peace and grace. Christmas is the season of celebrating the birth of that King!