Read Luke 2 today.

Luke 2:1-7 NLT[1] At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. [2] (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) [3] All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. [4] And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. [5] He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. [6] And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. [7] She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
It is Christmas Eve day. I wonder how many times I have read this chapter of the Bible. I wonder how many times I have wondered about that night that changed history, that night when God came to dwell among us.
As I read it today, I marvel at how God has used people throughout history to accomplish His purposes. God used the emperor of the Roman empire to send Joseph and Mary to the place, Bethlehem, where Jesus was to be born. It was not a direct command to them in particular, but a general decree that nudged them to where they needed to be.
Often, it seems this is how God works in our lives. It is not with large pushes, but with nudges. I think about some of the nudges in my life. There were parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. There were Sunday school teachers and a vacation Bible school teachers. There was a children’s choir director. There were high school friends who debated the existence of God in an old Nash Rambler on a rainy evening. There was the gift of a Bible, at just the right time. There were words spoken, and questions asked, by co-workers.
Some of the nudges were obvious at the time. Others would only be recognized after the passage of time. They have been many. They have been varied. And I am thankful for God’s nudges.