The first Christmas looked like a coincidence. From a human perspective, politics set the agenda: Caesar took a census of his people. End of story. But it wasn’t.
From the divine viewpoint, God orchestrated ordinary events for extraordinary outcomes.
Think about this past year in your life. Many ordinary events occurred. Most of them you don’t remember. But God has been working. It isn’t just the Christmas story.
It’s your story too. God uses the power of providence in your life.
A Coincidence Got Jesus to Bethlehem
Most citizens saw the census as an inconvenient, brazen abuse of Roman power. Count the people so you can tax them.
But we, the readers, see God’s providence arranging the details so that God’s purposes would come to pass.
- 700 years before the first Christmas, the prophet Micah pinpointed the place of the Messiah’s birth—Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:5).
- God used the census to get Joseph and Mary to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
- A census helped fulfill prophecy. A coincidence? Better, providence.
Don’t miss the message there. This isn’t just the Christmas story. It’s your story too.
Coincidence is God’s Providence
Think back through the last few years of your life. Notice how would-be coincidences and seemingly insignificant circumstances have brought you where you are today.
- A chance conversation.
- An unexpected pregnancy.
- The death of someone close to you.
- A surprising job loss.
- Even a betrayal by a close friend.
From the human perspective, we can misinterpret God’s providence as inconvenience. Or even as divine cruelty.
But it isn’t.
God’s Power of Providence in Your Life
Fast-forward to today. If God has worked so in the past, you can be sure He is guiding you by the events you’re experiencing right now. Do you believe that? That’s called walking by faith.
As with the first Christmas, so it is today. Our chances are really God’s choices. The power of coincidence is really God’s providence.
And He calls us to trust Him that it is so.