I often hear it said that Luke got his history wrong in Luke 2:1-6. He refers to "the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria". It is said that there was no such census; it never took place.
This is a serious charge to levy against a gospel writer who is historically impeccable when he records any fact for which we have independent records, and who says (Luke 1:1-4) that he worked hard to check everything out with primary eye witnesses.
Much ink has been spilled on this. However, the commentary on Luke by Darrell Bock is thorough and contains a helpful excursus examining this question at length. For my own future reference, and for the benefit of others, here's a summary of his argument.
I sometimes note illustrations here that may be useful for me to find later, and that may be useful for others as well.
Here's the teaching of Christ:
Give up everything to follow Christ
This is a familiar part of what Jesus taught: It costs to follow him.
Last Sunday, at our all-age service, we looked at the visit of the Magi, as recorded in Matthew 2:1-11.
(I know, 6 weeks early. There's a reason, but never mind).
Yesterday evening, I attended a General Election hustings organised by Churches Together in Sevenoaks and District. All 6 candidates for the Sevenoaks Constituency attended, and did a good job at tackling a range of questions fairly efficiently. The event was full, with most seats in the large nave of St Nicholas Sevenoaks taken. The tone was positive and engaging.
Coming away, I had a few thoughts, that I share here in no particular order.
Start with a couple concerning how Christians engage with politics.