A Socially Distanced Census

About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. (Luke 2:1, The Message)

A census, a census, hasn’t he heard we’re in the middle of global pandemic?How are we suppose to organise everyone to register and keep them two metre’s apart?
Will we have to check they are wearing masks and give them hand sanitiser?
Where will they all stay, we’re in tier 3, or maybe 4, I can’t work it out anymore, but I know there’s no where to stay, no hotels open not even an Air BnB.
What’s he thinking calling a census, asking people to register, wanting to know who they are?

Line up, line up, stay on the spots, they keep you 2 metre’s apart,
don’t move forward till the person in front has moved,
no you can’t stand with your support bubble
each family has to register themselves,
give their names, who they are, where they are from. 

Yes, what, 
no, there is no where to stay … how many times do I have to say that today?
Of course there are no hotels open, we’re in tier 3, or 4 maybe.
What do you mean you ‘need’ a room,
everyone here thinks they ‘need’ a room,
but they are all closed, he closed them then he asked everyone to register,
No not him he’s the census manager, Caesar Augustus, he closed them all and then called the census. 

I heard you the first time, 
I know you think you ‘need’ a room but so does everyone else.

Oh, is she pregnant?
Oh, she’s about to give birth?
I see what you mean, you ‘need’ a room?
Now I wonder what the rules say about this, 
(flips through a rule book … like CPD!). 
tier 3, or 4 maybe, at a census, having a baby?
The rules don’t seem to have a Frequently Asked Question for this scenario.
Maybe we just need to use our common sense!
Give me a minute, I wonder who will have a room?

Right, I’ve spoken to the family at Light in the Darkness, it’s a very good B&B. 
They say they are not allowed anyone to stay at the moment, 
that’s the rules in tier 3 or maybe 4,

You could say there’s lots of room but no space,
however they’ve got a stable round the back,
they think the animals will make room for you,
and there doesn’t seem to be anything in the rules 
preventing people from staying in stables,
but whatever you do don’t tell anyone,
or everyone will be wanting the animals to make room for them. 
Come on let’s go before she has that baby. 

Knock, knock, hello, 
Has she had the baby?
Was it OK in here?
Did the animals make room for you?

Aww, he’s got such a lovely smile, 
makes me feel better just looking at him. 
Did you say his name was Jesus?
Doesn’t that mean ‘Saviour’?
We could do with some salvation round here at the moment. 

Anyway it’s lovely to meet him but I best go,
plenty to do and it seems like you have visitors,
shepherds by the looks of it,
no doubt they’ll want to know if you’ve got any food,
they never seem to have any themselves. 

What do you mean ‘draw close, there’s room for everyone if they make room?’
It’s a very small space we can’t socially distance in here, not even 1m+. What did you say ‘there’s room for everyone if they make room?’


That’s exactly what I said,
‘there’s room for everyone if they make room’

Shepherds and census officials,
Gentiles and Jews,
black, brown and white,
women and men,
LGBTQIA+ and straight,
slave and free, 
‘there’s room for everyone if they make room’

Those in the Foodbank queue and those in Waitrose,
Those at the refugee centre and those in luxury hotels,
Those in the care homes, hospitals and those in their own homes
Those whose mental health is a real challenge and those who are managing well
Those on their own, maybe for the first time, and those in a Christmas Bubble
Those who are unwell, bereaved, not coping and those who are feeling on top of the world.
‘there’s room for everyone if they make room’

There’s room for everyone,
because God made room in his heart,
when he sent his only son to be the saviour of the world,
to be the light of the world,
to be the one who by his death and resurrection,
would forgive us our sins and grant us new life, eternal life. 

There’s room for everyone in the heart of God,
there’s room for anyone who wants to come in,
to come into the stable, to come into the light,
to come into the love, to come into the Kingdom,
there’s room for everyone if they make room. 

How about you?
Do you want come in this Christmas?
Do you want to see Jesus this Christmas?
Do you want to know God’s love deep in your hearts this pandemic Christmas?

Will you make room for the Christ child?
There’s room for everyone if they make room. 
There’s room for you if you make room for Jesus.

For with God there is no social distancing, 
In fact being close to Jesus is the only place this Christmas,
Where Hands, Face, Space doesn’t apply.