The world and the church biggest problem is sin, hence our biggest need is salvation. A renewing Advent therefore invites us to consider the intimate details of God’s love for the world. In our Gospel reading from Luke 2, the life and role of Caesar Augustus reveals to us the futility of living oneself rather than God. When we appropriate the Bible to our context, it becomes more revealing and redeeming. The Gospel according to Luke reveal more to us about Caesar August in each of us and especially in our leadership self centredness. The reflection is that ‘we live in a world still dominated by little Caesars, a world still enamoured with wealth, power, and military might, a world where the lowly still get trampled far too often.’ The truth is that no Caesar rules or reigns for ever. It is good to know a little background about Caesar Augustus whose real name was Gaius Octavius and an adopted son of Julius Caesar. Octavius became emperor when Julius Caesar died. Based on his ego, arrogance, and self centredness, he desired ‘to be greater than any other Caesar before him, and so, with the approval of the Roman Senate, he dropped his name Octavius, and added the title Augustus. Augustus means “Majesty.” It’s a name of divinity. It carries the idea of being “of the gods.” Caesar Augustus means Caesar God.’
The birth of Jesus, the Divine Son of God, and the King of the Jews during the Caesars reign was not a mistake but a sign victory of light over the power of darkness. The reflection is that, ‘the symbol of a star announcing that the light of heaven had entered this earth made dark by calling Caesar god was not an accident.’ The world and even the church are in darkness today because of the little Caesars who are becoming gods. In a World of trial, tribulation, little Caesars, and little gods, God’s plan is to give you and I new birth. Just as Caesar Augustus did 2000 years ago, little Caesars of today are promoting reign of darkness, corruption, division, hatred, breaking home, destroying marriage and introducing hard decree in governance. Just as the uncaring Caesar Augustus caused Joseph and Mary great troubles, little Caesars of today are causing great damage and troubles to the Body of Christ and humanity in general. Christmas in a world of little Caesars calls for endurance especially among the followers of Jesus Christ without becoming bitter just as Joseph and Mary endured homelessness and joblessness, ‘and as a result, God acts on their behalf and everything changes.’
Christmas in a world of little Caesars reminds us about Caesar Augustus, who wanted to be hailed as god. The Good News is that his selfishness, set into motion redeeming and eternal events in which, the true God came to earth and praised by angels. Christmas is a warning to every little Caesars in our nations and churches that every tyrant like Caesar Augustus will come to an end. It is noteworthy that God did not revealed to the religious leaders in Bethlehem about the birth of Jesus. In the same country, God located shepherd living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night against danger (Lk 2:8). The glory of the Lord shone around the shepherds when they encounter angels, hence their fear and reference in God’s presence: “Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” (Lk 2:10-12). The angel tells the shepherds where and how to find Christ. God found the shepherd available even though they ‘were not highly regarded in Israel; the scribes and Pharisees regarded them as unclean.’ God has special affection for shepherds just as He spoke to Moses out of the burning bush and called him to lead Israel out of Egypt (Exd 3). Christmas in a world of little Caesars summons shepherds like you and I, the unregarded, and the outcast not to loose hope but to arise and remain faithful in watching after souls day and night.