Song: "Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem" (Hymns 208)
We have already learned about what the trip to Bethlehem must have been like for Joseph and Mary. But it was important that they go to Bethlehem. It was well known at the time of the Savior’s birth that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. When the wise men traveled to Jerusalem and inquired of Herod about the new king, Herod assembled his wise men and leaders and “demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel” (Matthew 2:4-6).
(Image via here)
But it is not just prophecy that makes the place significant. The word Bethlehem means “house of bread.” How interesting that the "Bread of Life" (John 6:35) was physically born in the "House of Bread." And, we know that spiritually, the "Bread of Life" is born again in everyone who chooses to partake of Him. Not only by believing on Him, and obeying His commandments, but by taking His name upon us - all covenants we renew when taking the sacrament. This brings new meaning to the words in Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem:
"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."
Activity: Make and decorate little "houses of bread" - gingerbread houses.
For a list of the rest of my Christmas Devotionals, see this post.