Sunday, January 31, 2010

Making Sense of the Census

Numbers 1-3

The descendants of Judah, their lineage, in their clans, by their ancestral houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and upward, everyone able to go to war: those enrolled of the tribe of Judah were seventy-four thousand six hundred. Numbers 1:26-27 NRSV

The year is 2010 and we are getting ready to take a census in America. It is good to know that we will be participating in an activity that goes back to Old Testament times. We must be aware that the original census had to do with military service - specifically with figuring out which tribe would be where during the march through the wilderness and hostel territory. Also, only able-bodied adult men were included in the count.

Now whole households are counted and the prize is for government money, grants and other forms of cash. We do also get a good picture of who we are in terms of race, economics and homestead. An interesting aside here is that it was due to a census taken in the middle of last century that I was able to determine my birth mother's household and whom to contact in the family. So, there are other benefits to the census.

Where does this fit into our everyday lives with God? I am somehow reminded of the scripture that says every hair on our heads is counted. I think God keeps an excellent record of who we are, what we have and from where we have come. God is probably most interested in where we go from here -- and whether we will take God's direction, or even just God, with us.

God, you have already taken the census of our lives. Now you wait for what we will do next. May we follow you with every step. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims

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