H. L. Sheppard
The Bethlehem Baby
Almost everyone in Israel was expecting His earthly arrival. Almost everyone in Israel was unaware that He had arrived. A young man and woman were the first to welcome Him into a small hovel in a little village just south of Jerusalem. The young couple made Him as comfortable as their circumstances would allow. His doting father cleaned the birthing room as best he could. His virtuous mother would swaddle him with her own garments.
From a throne room surrounded by heavenly angels, to a smelly old barn surrounded by farm animals, the god-man traversed the narrow hallways of time to give the world a savior and bring harmony to the soul.
While the Jews were hating the Romans for forcibly taxing them; while Roman leaders were indulging themselves in a carnal lifestyle that would lead to absolute moral depravity; while unscrupulous businessmen were overcharging the already struggling citizens by using false weights to measure their goods and while self-righteous priests worshiped the God of their fathers rather than the God of their future, the angels were marveling at deity who dared to don a lowly garment of dirt to save His undeserving creation from their sins.
The story of Bethlehem is not a new story. Over two thousand years have passed since it was played out in the lives of Mary and Joseph in real time. From an immaculate conception, to a painful birth in a foul smelling old lean-to, they struggled through the nine months of pain and shame, until He was born. Then, somehow, when Mary cradled his small frame in the tenderness of her motherly embrace, everything felt right. Everything seemed…in harmony.
Today, the Baby of Bethlehem is still being born in the lives of those who are hurting, suffering struggling with the pain and pressures of life. While the world descends into the chaos of human carnality and man-made systems fail to bring peace, the Giver of Peace is being born in the hearts of men everywhere. His coming brings harmony and oneness to a divided soul. His presence brings peace.
Has the Bethlehem Baby been born into your life?