Thursday, December 10, 2009

O Little Town

Luke 2 : 1 - 7

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Isn't it strange that at the same time that Mary was going to give birth, that a census had to be taken? And isn't strange that everyone had to go to the town of their forefathers, meaning that Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem? Not at all! God orchestrated the whole thing! Thousands of years before Jesus was to come, God had a small prophet named Micah prophesy about Bethlehem.

Micah 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. "

I just love how God works! The prophecies that are fulfilled are amazing! That Bethlehem, this little town, is very important to God. It is mentioned at least 50 times in the Bible. It is the birthplace of King David and of Jesus. It is something that we need to think about. God not only planned the who, what, when and why of this prophecy, but also the where. Why does that matter? It matters because God cares enough about you and me that he planned every detail of our salvation. It is his Christmas gift to us. Will you open the present?

O Little Town Of Bethlehem
by Phillips Brooks

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie.
Above they deep and dreamless sleep
The silent world goes by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may his His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

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