Day 1 :: O Little Town of Bethlehem

December 1.  Christmas season is officially upon us.  We received a beautiful blanket of snow overnight.  Looking past our Christmas tree into the glittery field definitely puts me in the mood for a little Christmas!  The most wonderful time of the year!

 

Today I’m listening to O Little Town of Bethlehem & doing a little reading from Micah 5.  Here’s a link to the song on YouTube, if you don’t have it in your iTunes library.  And from a good ole’ fashion Baptist hymnal, here is the music.0285=285

Micah 5:2 says “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

Hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet foretold he would be born in Bethlehem.  Bethlehem.  A dot on a map.  Not significant in any way.  Certainly not worthy to hold the promise of the coming Messiah.

Side Factoid {if you like that kind of thing, which I very much do} :: Beth•lehem signifies the house of bread.  Fitting for the Bread of Life to be born in the house of bread, don’t ya’ think?!?

So lowly, map-dot Bethlehem.  This is one of those things that is most surprising about God.  He seems to chose the nothings for some pretty important assignments.  Luke 1:52 says “he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate”  God loves to exalt the less-thans.  And Bethlehem would definitely fit in the less-than category for cities.  Bethlehem had nothing in it worthy to have this honor of being the birthplace of the Son of God.  I’m pretty certain there were cities that had prestige, perhaps winners of great battles or places of successful commerce & immense growth that would be more fitting the honor of Jesus’ birth. But God chose Bethlehem.  Christ would give honor to the place of his birth and not derive any honor from it.

Another Side Factoid ::  The chief priests and scribes that King Herod called on when the wise men arrived, knew this prophecy of the Messiah’s birth place well.  {Matthew 2:1-7}

Here’s the thing I see about God on this first day of December.  First, He keeps his promises.  He said Jesus would be born in Bethlehem & all those hundreds of years later, He was!  And second,  He uses the most unusual places & unworthy people to make His promises come true & tell His great redemption story.  He uses what, in the eyes of us humans, is less than worthy on its own to accomplish His work.

If you’d like to join in on the advent fun, here is the link to the free printable Christmas Carol Advent Cards I’ll be using this month at my house.  If you’d like a more traditional advent set, head over to yesterday’s post for Classic Advent Cards or the Names of Jesus Advent Cards.  All free.  Just print them off and enjoy!

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