A Little Town

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.  Micah 5:2

Hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth, the Old Testament prophet named Micah was given a message from God.  This message was very particular about the place where the Messiah would be born.  Jesus fulfilled this and many other prophecies!

It was small as far as towns go.  Bethlehem was a quiet little town that was known for raising the sheep that were used in Temple sacrifices in Jerusalem.  In the very same fields, David tended to his father’s sheep as a youngster is the place the shepherds we read in Luke 2 are working.   It is in this sleepy little place that God would come to earth in human form.

Phillips Brooks wrote the Christmas favorite “O Little Town of Bethlehem” in 1868.  Its words have filled church houses, homes, and hearts ever since.  Each verse carries a significant meaning about the purpose of Jesus coming to this year.

  • Verse one teaches about hope in a time of darkness and fear.
  • Verse two emphasizes the peace that Jesus brought when He came to earth.
  • Verse three encourages meekness as it is only those humble enough to receive Jesus for salvation – that actually do repent and believe in Him.
  • Verse four is a call to salvation – to let Jesus into your heart.  If you have not trusted in Jesus for salvation, believe in Him today.  Receive the gift of eternal life and become a Christian right now.  Ask Jesus in faith for forgiveness of sins, express in a prayer belief in His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, and receive Him into your heart.

Here is the entire carol.  Enjoy!

1 O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie;
above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by:
yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting Light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.

2 For Christ is born of Mary,
and gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wond’ring love.
O morning stars, together
proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,
and peace to men on earth.

3 How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is giv’n!
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heav’n.
No ear may hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him still,
the dear Christ enters in.

4 O holy child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray;
cast out our sin and enter in;
be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Emmanuel!

Merry Christmas!  The merriest Christmas one can have is when a person knows for sure they are saved, forgiven of sin, and have Jesus in their heart.  Accept Him today.

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Published by Pastor Steve

Steve Harness and his beautiful wife, Natalie, are blessed with three children. They have served in ministry together for nearly 20 years and have been in Wilton, NY since 2009. Pastor Steve enjoys drinking Dunkin coffee and watching the New York Yankees baseball and Memphis Grizzlies basketball. Steve has a varied ministerial education, including a Bachelor of Bible from Pensacola Christian College, a Master of Ministry from Bethany Divinity Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Christian Counseling from Bethany. Currently, he is enrolled in the Master of Divinity (Christian Education) program at Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to pastoring the Wilton Baptist Church, he is also the principal of the Wilton Baptist Academy in Wilton, NY. He serves on the board of the New York Association of Christian Schools. Both Steve and Natalie are thankful for each opportunity the Lord has given to them, and they desire to “serve the Lord with gladness” while seeing people saved and advancing in their walk with Jesus.

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