A Bethlehem Christmas
Dr. Stan Coffey
Luke 2:4-7 ''So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.''
''O Little Town of Bethlehem,'' perhaps the best known American Christmas carol, was penned by Phillips Brooks when rector of a Philadelphia church. On a years trip abroad he came to the Holy Land just before Christmas 1865. On Christmas eve he rode the short journey to Bethlehem, looking much as it did the night before Christ was born. Shepherds kept their flocks in the fields. Stars glittered in the sky above. The scene indelibly stamped on his memory provided inspiration three years later when he wanted a Christmas son for the boys and girls to sing at the annual Sunday School program.
Capturing significant truths, the song contains many analogies between the coming of Christ to Bethlehem nineteen centuries ago and His coming into human hearts today.
Bethlehem is symbolic of the incarnation of Christ.. It was at Bethlehem that the eternal God first became flesh and dwelt among us. His entrance was made at Bethlehem. Very God became very man, The Lord of heaven came down to earth! Phillip Brooks wrote in his carol:
''Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
It is no wonder that men revere the supposed site of His birth. Bethlehem still lies nestled mid slopes of Judean hills, six miles from Jerusalem The thoughts of multitudes turn toward that little town into which was born the Eternal Son of God.
As amazing that Christ came to B ...
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