"In the year of our Lord, Judea--for nearly a century--had lain under the mastery of Rome. In the seventh year under the reign of Augustus Caesar, an imperial decree ordered every Judean each to return to his place of birth to be counted and taxed. The converging ways of many of them led them to the gates of their capitol city, Jerusalem, the troubled heart of their land. The old city was dominated by the fortress of Antonia, the seat of Roman power, and by the great golden temple, the outward sign of a great and imperishable faith. Even while they obeyed the will of Caesar, the people clung proudly to their ancient heritage, always remembering the promise of their prophets that one day there would be born among them a redeemer to bring them salvation and perfect freedom."
In his battery of Christmas questions, Judge Nap asks, "What if the true God made us in His own image and likeness? What if the most similar likeness between us mortals and the true God is freedom?"
He also wonders whether many people have accepted a seductive counter offer to reject God's gift of freedom in favor of government-as-god. Government-as-god establishes itself as provider of all secular needs in return for fidelity to the State. Compliance with the State chills the exercise of personal freedom because individuals fear loss of the government's munificence.
What if, as the Judge asks, "Jesus came to set us free from the yoke of government oppression and the chains of personal sin?"
Celebrate His arrival this Christmas and His mission of freedom.