2022 Census Word on the Week 26th March 2022.
It would have saved Joseph a lot of bother if there had been Census Enumerators back then. All this hassle of having to go to his ancestral town, Bethlehem – the city of David. He would have been proud of his royal line although now reduced to peasant stock and living in the backwater called Nazareth some 70 miles away (St Luke Chapter 2 verses 1 to 6).
By comparison we have it easy as the Census Enumerators who are about to descend on us next week are equipped with well-designed forms along with instructions written in 22 languages! There has been little prior notice of the event which formerly occurred at 10 year intervals but now, such is the speed of migration trends, may come along every 5 years.
The Central Statistic Office which keeps tabs on us all shows 12.9% or 645,500 of the population to be Non-Irish. This figure will soon increase when the influx of refugees from Ukraine, fleeing the fighting, come looking for asylum.
A new feature to the Census form is the provision to write a letter to be placed in a time capsule to be opened 100 years from now. We are encouraged to write in our own language an account of something which would be of interest to these living in 100 years’ time.
This invitation would seem to afford the Christian the opportunity to share the Gospel with particular relevance to the Spiritual needs of the days we live in. Perhaps a couple of outlines would help us to put pen to paper.
First outline. The Lord Jesus Christ, after he was crucified for our sins, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He was the first fruits of the resurrection to be followed by those who trusted in him. The Apostle Paul wrote about this in his Bible letter 1Corinthians Chapter 15 verse 22/23. If the Lord Jesus has not returned in 100 years that means that there are more people to be saved and that could include you who are reading this letter! This Good News is as relevant today in 2022 as it will be in 2122.
Second outline. People in 2022 get anxious and apprehensive of what might happen to them. They wish to keep in with God and try by their behaviour to blot out their permissiveness and tolerance of what is wrong. They do not have to live like that. If their faith is already placed in the Lord Jesus Christ as their redeemer, then on their worse and most faithless day they can run to their heavenly Father. He will not turn you away. Your acceptance is not because you kept God’s law but that Jesus did. Your faith is in Him (1 Corinthians Chapter 15 verses 3 to 8).
If Joseph had had to write a letter it would have been full of joy at the miraculous birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary and his later role as husband.