Bethlehem: December 23

Advent Guide Cover - 2017

Only two days remain in our season of “waiting” to celebrate the arrival of the Lord. After weeks of reflecting on the wonder of Christ stepping from heaven into our world and praying that God would help us to see his presence around us as we wait for his return, today’s reading draws your attention to the humble spot in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. The reading is short, but it will draw you into a careful consideration of the small, quiet moment that marked the arrival of the Savior of the world.

READ

  • Luke 2:4-7
  • Watch for the Light, 214-217

REFLECT

  1. Micah 5:2 describes Bethlehem as “too little to be among the clans of Judah.” Why do you believe God chose this otherwise insignificant town to be the earthly birthplace of his Son?
  2. Re-read the paragraphs from the bottom half of page 215 through the top of 216, and compare Dillard’s description of the worshipers at the Church of the Nativity to the description of worshipers you find in Revelation 7:9-12. How is Jesus’ glory increased by the presence of worshipers from all over the earth? In what ways will you contribute your own praise to the voices that harmonize in the vaults of that ancient church in Bethlehem?

RESPOND

For the next three days, let your time of prayer turn almost entirely to praise and adoration. Use words or song to express your faith as you personally ascribe glory to the Son of God who came to save us.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,

that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!

The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.

God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him!

Psalm 67

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