December 19: O Little Town of Bethlehem

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O Little Town of Bethlehem, Variation

Jesus does things backwards.  He is the King of the Universe, yet he chooses to be born in Bethlehem.  It’s a small, insignificant little village out in the country.  Shepherds smelling of sheep manure are the first witnesses.  A bed of hay where animals eat is his crib.  He’s dressed in rags.

He should be given royal treatment.  His birth should be announced by trumpet calls and a list of famous dignitaries should be waiting for the opportunity to bring him gifts.  He deserves praise and adulation.  He gets a silent night, and he’s placed away in a manger in O Little town of Bethlehem.

It’s not just the birth of Jesus that carries such backward fanfare.  As an adult He is performing miracles and telling the people he cures to keep quiet.  He’s telling people who have just had their lives transformed to refrain from shouting His praises.  He’s remains humble and prefers to be anonymous.

Jesus didn’t come for himself.  Philippians 2:5-7 reminds us that He took on the form of a servant and didn’t seek praise for himself.  The miracles he did, he performed not for himself, but for those he came to serve.    O Little Town of Bethlehem reminds us that Jesus continues to work through humble means today.  A splash of water brings a person into God’s family for eternity.  A crumb of bread and sip of wine offer forgiveness and eternal life.  Ordinary people carry the extraordinary message of salvation.  Ordinary people like you and me.

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