Day 20: “O Little Town Of Bethlehem”

Read: 1 Corinthians 1:27-28 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are…”

O Little Town of Bethlehem is a popular Christmas carol. The text was written by Phillips Brooks (1835–1893), an Episcopal priest, Rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia. He was inspired by visiting the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in 1865.

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O Little Town Of BethlehemO little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go 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 hear 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

Bethlehem was a town that was considered tiny and insignificant. Micah 5 describes Bethlehem as being “….small among the clans of Judah.” Yet Micah went on to say “out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel.” Sure enough, Jesus was born in Bethlehem some 700 years later.

The significance of insignificant Bethlehem can’t be understated. God loves to work in amazing ways through the unlikely and the overlooked. It’s easy for all of us to feel undervalued and unimportant, but that is exactly the type of person God will use. Think of the endless ways God could use you if you surrender to His will.

Actually Bethlehem did have some significance before Jesus’ birth. Among other things it was also the birthplace of David, Israel’s greatest Old Testament warrior and king. However, this is also another example of God’s amazing sovereignty. David was the youngest son of Jesse, who considered him the unlikeliest of his boys to become king. But God saw through all that and had him anointed the next ruler of Israel. Again, God was working in ways that are outside of man’s conventional wisdom.

We tend to see our life and circumstances through a man-made perspective. Once we realize that the Lord works in mysterious ways that are far above our own, we will be more ready for Him to use us in an exciting way.

Of course nothing has more significance than the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. How unlikely is it that it would begin one quiet, peaceful night in a quiet, peaceful town. The “everlasting Light”, the “hopes and fears of all the years” all started in the “…Little Town of Bethlehem.”

Questions:

  • How have you seen God use seemingly insignificant people and events in your life or the lives of others?
  • Have you ever felt overlooked? What effect has that had on you?
  • What action will you take to allow God to use you in a significant way?

From Carols: A Christmas Devotional
God is with us – in answered promises, realized dreams, and refreshed hope. How could we help but sing. During this Christmas season, explore the songs that were born from our joy that Christ has entered the world and rediscover their relevance in your life today in this 25-day reading plan.

Source: LifeChurch.tv
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