I’m told that on Wednesday the most popular hashtag world-wide on Twitter was #censusfail. There certainly has been a lot of angst expressed over what happened!

I hope that you have been able to now complete your census if you couldn’t on Tuesday. However, I want you to think of another Census, this one over 2,000 years ago — the one Mary and Joseph had to do (Luke Chapter Two).

If you think you have been inconvenienced this past week, think of nine-months-pregnant Mary travelling (probably) on a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem! It was about 140 kilometres of inconvenience and possibly pain with every jolting step of the donkey (have you ever actually ridden on a donkey?!). I can be almost certain that the inconvenience they experienced was much more than what any of us experienced this past week, as annoying as it might have been for you.

While we might have concerns about privacy for some of the information we supplied, there is a lot of useful information which comes from the Census (If you would like me to give you a defence of statistics some time I’m happy to do so J). It is good for us to know how many of us there are here in this blessed country, Australia. When it comes to censuses, though, the best news, is that there is coming a future where no census will suffice. Here is a verse that is a statistician’s nightmare, but the glory of God and his people —

I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count,   from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and   before the Lamb. …. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our   God and to the Lamb.’”      Revelation 7:9-10

In the renewed Creation no human will be able to count the number of all those God in Christ has saved throughout history! It will be the ultimate #censusfail!

So rejoice that, while in this life we have five-yearly census ‘pain’, that pain is temporary but God’s salvation is eternal!

Cameron Wills


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September 13, 2020