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Sermons about Bethlehem
There's a part of the Christmas Story we don't always include: the Massacre of the Boys in Bethlehem by King Herod. Who wants to finish the Christmas celebration with a story about an atrocity? Still, this year in particular, it likely does us well to reflect upon the death of the innocents.
Based in Luke 2, we walk through the events that brought the Holy Family from the trip to Bethlehem, to the Temple in Jerusalem, and home again to Nazareth.
The Shepherds, the Magi, King Herod, and the Scribe - these four different groups all responded to the birth of Jesus in a different way. How will you respond to the King who was born?
The message is that God’s blessing of salvation through His Messiah is not contingent upon our own greatness, or good works or personal achievements. God did not choose a city for the birth of His Son because of its greatness or significance, or because it was a capital town or a home to the rich and famous. When God chooses, He chooses by His criteria. He chooses so that He will be glorified and that no man will ever be enabled to take credit for God’s plans and victories. Let us say together with the Angels, “Glory to God in the Highest!” Not glory to us. We receive the joy, but God receives the glory!
Mary's unique blessing was, in fact, a template for the blessing that God himself wants to bring into YOUR life: that you would know His favor, that Christ would be formed in you by the power of God's Spirit, and that you, as you humbly submit to what God wants to do, you would bring forth Jesus in all you say and do.
What happens when God’s Word is proclaimed supernaturally into your life? Does it change you? Why didn't it change King Herod? What did King Herod miss that you can get?
In this journey to Bethlehem we have been learning what Christmas is all about. We have looked at how Christ is the light of Christmas and how this light is the life of mankind. We have seen how the world did not recognize the light (v.10) and His own did not receive the light (v. 11), therefore, we discovered the need of the faith of Christmas in (v.12). Then we learned that even though mankind rejected the light of Christmas, Jesus still came to man full of the grace and truth of Christmas. Today, Pastor Michael continues the journey to Bethlehem and shows how Jesus came and is the glory of Christmas and Christmas to come.
Bethlehem. Most of us only know about this village as the place of baby Jesus’ birth. Yet, Bethlehem existed as a village long before the birth of Jesus. What happened in this village prior to that event? It might surprise some to learn that this small village was very important in the history of Israel in Old Testament times. In fact, one could argue that what happened there on Christmas night was really a fulfillment of the lessons of Bethlehem going back ages and generations.