I started writing this blog on my phone around Christmas time. Never had time to finish it. Got distracted. Got busy. Than wasn't sure if I should write it. My brain is so scattered these days that staying focused and actually finishing something isn't easy.
I hope that these "scattered thoughts" will give you something to think about. God has reasons for everything. We often question and ask Him, "WHY?????" when deep down we know that He really is working "all things together for our good." I'm sure Mary wondered why she had to go to Bethlehem, but she TRUSTED what God had told her and what the Spirit had revealed to her.
So Yosef, because he was a descendant of David, went up from the town of Natzeret in the Galil to the town of David, called Beit-Lechem, in Y’hudah, to be registered, with Miryam, to whom he was engaged, and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth; and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in cloth and laid him down in a feeding trough, because there was no space for them in the living-quarters.
The Hebrew name for Bethlehem is "Beit Lechem." Beit means "house." Lechem means "bread." Jesus was born in the city that means, "house of bread."
Today, Bethlehem is part of the Palestinian Territory. It is right outside of Jerusalem (so in the heart of Israel), but most Israelis cannot enter the city. Those in Bethlehem cannot enter Israel. Special permission must be granted for both to travel back and forth. The one place that the Jews are allowed to visit is Rachel's tomb, but that is guarded and specifically set up so they can visit.
Why should this be significant? God knew what He was doing when He placed Mary and Joseph there so that Jesus would be born in this city. I believe that even back then there was tension. The Romans had control. There was definitely not peace. The uncertainty in the region kept people on the edge.
People desired peace. They wanted a change. The Jews were looking for a Messiah. They knew it was prophesied. They were waiting...
Bethlehem is the city Ruth came to call home. Naomi had lived there before leaving with her husband for the country of the Moabites. When Ruth followed Naomi and chose to follow her God, Bethlehem is where they lived. Ruth became the great grandmother of King David. The prophecies said a Messiah would come from the line of David and this area. Why is it so hard to accept the fact that the Messiah would come from this place?
Because peace never happened. The turmoil did not stop. In fact, some may argue that it only got worse. Because of this, many could not accept the fact the Messiah had come. This is probably still true today.
I have a feeling that the shepherds who came to see Jesus were not Jewish. I have no proof, but something in my gut says this. The wise men were not. We know there were Jews in the city because Joseph's family would have been there for the census count. That means there was a mixture of ethnic groups. This makes it clear that the Father sent His Son to be a Messiah to everyone.
My thoughts are: this is why Bethlehem was the chosen place. From this city, the "House of Bread," the "Bread of Life" was born. From this city, filled with various ethnic groups, the Messiah who came for everyone was born.
For those who believed that Jesus brought the peace of God, life changed. It didn't change from the outside, but the inside. God didn't bring peace to the city, region, or world; He brought peace to hearts.
This is the peace we need to have. Peace within as the storms rage around us. Peace in our souls. It isn't easy in the day and age we live, but if we look back - there has always been wars and rumors of war. There has always been tension. The Word is clear that we can have peace in the middle of all of it. Those who trust God have found peace in the midst of all of it for thousands of years.
Choose today to have PEACE within. Choose to know and believe that HE LOVES YOU. Walk in that LOVE and share it with those around you. Be the bread of life that someone needs...
Love and blessings,