O Little Town of Bethlehem

Devotional Archive

Day 1 - December 3, 2023

O Little Town of Bethlehem

“Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” John 7:42 

No doubt you recognize the title of this devotion as that of a Christmas carol, a song that portrays a town of little importance for many despite what took place one night over two thousand years ago. Bethlehem in Hebrew means “House of bread,” (beth means house and lehem means bread). It is a town located six miles south of Jerusalem and is known today mainly for the Church of the Nativity, a building originally constructed in the fourth century to commemorate the birth of our Lord. Bethlehem has long been considered insignificant to the world and often is mentioned in the Bible only in passing. In fact, it held little importance in Jesus’ day. But we should not overlook the richness of its history, unappreciated by most. This is why I have chosen to make it my central point this Advent season, to lead us in an unhurried look at what took place as God fulfilled His plan of salvation:

 God does not often choose what is exalted and honored in the eyes of the world. Instead, He loves to choose what is lowly and apparently insignificant in order to accomplish His purposes, just as He did when He chose Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah. None of us, therefore, should think that God cannot use us. Even if we are not well known or important in the world’s eyes, God can still do great things in and through us.*

What I hope to do in my three devotions that will follow is to offer insight so that the eyes of faith may perceive how Bethlehem provided the context for the coming of our Lord (John 7:42). Even more, may we train ourselves so that the mention of this town becomes a prompt to thank God for the plan of salvation, a plan so carefully crafted that only eyes that look for it can see what is occurring. I pray you will take the time to enjoy and absorb all that the contributors to this devotional have provided so that you will savor the love of God this Advent season as you take in aroma of what has been prepared for you.

by Dr. Rich Menninger

May we taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8) and sing, “Cast out our sin, and enter in, Be born in us today.” Amen.


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