Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010

"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. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:1-7
Heading into this 2010 Christmas Season one of the big national concerns is what will happen with the income tax rates. The current tax cut bill that was passed under President Bush is due to expire at the end of the year and that will cause a significant increase in tax bills that will be sent to the American people. Will Congress act on this before the Christmas recess or not?
In a time of economic recession it doesn't seem like a good idea to impose a greater burden on already stressed American households. Taxes have always been a big issue with Americans because it takes their hard earned money and puts it in the hands of the government which becomes makes people a little less powerful and government more powerful. Over human history that scenario has never ended well.
Why do I mention this?
Because as I was reading over the Christmas story from Luke 2, I was reminded that Christmas happened because of a tax increase! Yes, that's right, God used a tax increase to accomplish His purpose and fulfill the prophecy of Micah. Christmas was the original tax break!
"But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel" Micah 5:2
Among the many wonders of the Christmas Story perhaps this is the most incredible! Something wonderful resulted from a tax increase! God certainly does work in mysterious ways! He can use the greed of a goverment to accomplish the goodness of His grace! He orchestrated events to bring Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, the city of David, the "house of bread" to be born to become the Savior of the world!
I guess that is one aspect of the joy of Christmas isn't it? God is greater than any power on earth! His love is greater than our greed and our sin. His will is more powerful than all the schemes of all the rulers and governments of all the ages on earth!
So, as we head into this Christmas Season, what is taxing you? What is robbing you of your power and your freedom? What is oppressing your spirit? Will you see those things as God hand at work in your life? Will you understand that God is using the events of your life to bring Jesus to you? Will you allow Him to be born anew in your spirit? Will you invite God's powerful love to invade your life?
That is true tax relief!