The real author of this post is Agent X who sent this to me on email.
It’s September again, and you know what that means. Well, actually, you don’t. So let me tell you.
September 23rd, 63 B.C. is the birthday of Gaius Octavius, or as he liked to be called, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, but is now more commonly known as Caesar Augustus – the Lord of Imperial Rome, in fact Lord of the whole known world of his time.
And anyway, his birthday is kinda a big deal.
Well, at least it used to be. Maybe YOU forgot his birthday this year, but I assure you that all during the first century A.D. and likely a few more to follow, September 23rd was absolutely a HUGE HOLIDAY SEASON filled with festivities and cheer throughout the empire.
Think they didn’t decorate the mall? Oh, they did! Even the court yard at every town square, held parades, orgies, parties, feasts with happy revelers-a-plenty! Special songs, toasts, family traditions… Oh yeah!
Just read this portion of an inscription unearthed by archaeologists which celebrate this glorious day in what is characterized as “glad tidings” (an English translation of the Greek word for “gospel” or “good news”. Here is a quote:
The providence which has ordered the whole of our life, showing concern and zeal, has ordained the most perfect consummation for human life by giving to it Augustus, by filling him with virtue for doing the work of a benefactor among men, and by sending in him, as it were, a saviour for us and those who come after us, to make war to cease, to create order everywhere. . . ; the birthday of the god [Augustus] was the beginning for the world of the glad tidings that have come to men through him. . .
Oh yes! The birthday of the god Augustus is the beginning of the world!
But YOU didn’t remember it?
Well, to be frank, I doubt strongly that the locals celebrated it with vigor in Bethlehem back in the day, but there is no doubt they heard of it. The whole world seemed full of it, how could they not? But another King was born in their midst too, one for whom there was no room, so they squatted like vagrants in a barn and laid this child in a manger.
Oh, yeah… you do know THAT STORY!
Yeah, we don’t know the actual date of HIS birth – it seems his mother stored a lot of precious things up in her heart, but our records failed to store it up for posterity. Nevertheless, for good or ill, we celebrate the birth of THAT KING in December every year, and the season is cause for parades, parties, festivities, decorations, family traditions, and the commemoration of GLAD TIDINGS from God!
Anyway, I just figured that this year, for September, I could remind you to forget Augustus’ birthday again. It is worth noting that you didn’t remember it. After all, it is quite a coup d’tate for such a humble, homeless, peasant to turn that world upside down, don’t you think? A world-wide REVOLUTION achieved without firing a shot! And so, this September, as you remember to forget Caesar’s birthday (yet again), you can ponder the profound mysterious power of God at work in your world. And it will AMAZE you.