1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. 21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
A few things to note … First, Joseph and Mary were willing and did follow the direction the government put over them gave. Having to travel like they did with Mary pregnant was no doubt a hassle and not easily accomplished. We should follow the laws and decrees of the government put above us when they are not contrary to what the Lord directs us to do. A census is not against what the Lord has directed us. If our government ordered us to not pray, that would be against what we are directed to do. Disobeying the government at that point is not bad.
Second, when Christ was born the Lord did not have all the pomp and circumstance that most would think. The people of that day did not take notice, but the Lord went to those who were seen with little importance. The shepherds left their flock and wanted to see this Messiah that has come. The people surely did not believe these shepherds when they spoke of what they had seen concerning the child. The Lord uses what seems foolish to the world to shame the wise, 1 Cor 1:27.
Lastly, we should certainly note that the Lord does not need us. He has given us life because of His grace. His Word will live when we do not. He will reign when we are gone. If we accept His gift of salvation, we will live forever to Glorify Him, not us. The Lord saw it fit to have the Messiah glorified upon His birth. The Lord sent His angels to the shepherds whom He knew would believe. Praise God for maintaining His Word and glorifying Himself. It is not up to us, but up to Him.