(LIGHT PIANO MUSIC) OH LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM, HOW STILL WE SEE THEE LIE. WELL, MAYBE NOT SO
LITTLE ANYMORE, BUT NO LESS IMPORTANT
TO THE STORY. WHEN WE READ THE CHRISTMAS STORY
AS TOLD BY MATTHEW AND LUKE THERE ARE LOTS AND LOTS OF
DETAILS THAT THEY DON’T INCLUDE ABOUT THE BIRTH OF JESUS, BUT ONE THEY’RE ABSOLUTELY
INSISTENT WE GET IS THAT THIS EVENT
OCCURRED IN BETHLEHEM. THEY MENTION IT NO LESS
THAN NINE TIMES EITHER BY THE NAME BETHLEHEM OR ITS ALTERNATIVE,
TOWN OF DAVID. WHAT’S SO IMPORTANT
ABOUT THE PLACE? THINK IT HAS TO DO WITH THE
FACT THAT WE HAVE LEARNED THROUGH THE OLD TESTAMENT
STORIES OF BETHLEHEM THAT THIS IS A PLACE WHERE GOD CONSISTENTLY PROVIDES
SOLUTION FOR PEOPLE IN NEED. FOR A FAMILY IN POVERTY,
TIME OF RUTH AND NAOMI, IT PROVIDED BOAZ, SOMEONE WHO WAS ABLE TO
DRAW THEM OUT OF POVERTY. NEXT TIME WE SEE IT, ISRAEL IS STRUGGLING UNDER
THE POOR LEADERSHIP OF SAUL. THE LORD PROVIDES DAVID,
THE NEXT KING OF ISRAEL, FROM BETHLEHEM. AND WHEN THE ASSYRIAN
EMPIRE INVADES THIS SPACE CAUSING ALL SORTS OF HAVOC, MICAH SAYS, “A TIME IS COMING WHEN GOD
WILL PROVIDE ANOTHER SOLUTION.” THAT’S THE BACK STORY
BEHIND THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE ANGELS SPEAKING TO
SHEPHERDS HERE IN THIS SPACE. THEY SAY, “FEAR NOT. “I BRING YOU GOOD NEWS
OF GREAT JOY “WHICH WILL BE FOR ALL PEOPLE. “FOR UNTO YOU IS BORN THIS
DAY IN THE TOWN OF DAVID “A SAVIOR WHO
IS CHRIST THE LORD.” BETHLEHEM THAT PROVIDED A
SOLUTION FOR A FAMILY IN NEED, PROVIDED A SOLUTION FOR A NATION IN NEED, WAS NOW PROVIDING THE ULTIMATE
SOLUTION FOR A WORLD IN NEED. (GENTLE MUSIC)