Advent Week 2
Bethlehem Candle: Provision
Advent Reading: Luke 2:4-8
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the Inn.
I’m becoming my father. This has its pros and cons.
Pro: sense of humor.
Con: sense of humor.
If you know the Sherminator you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Here’s a lesser known fact about him: my dad ate the same sandwich for lunch at work for over 30 years. No, not the same exact sandwich. But the same kind of sandwich. And now, begrudgingly, I think I could do the same thing. (I say begrudgingly not because I don’t want to be like my dad in a lot of ways, but because I used to make fun of his uncreative and unsophisticated palette.) I could eat a sandwich every day and not get tired of it.
When it comes to a great sandwich most of us think the most important part is the cheese. And as far as ingredients go you’re right. But most important is the bread. Without 2 slices or a folded piece of bread it’s not a sandwich. It’s a wrap. Or just meat and cheese. But not a sandwich.
Bethlehem literally means “house of bread.” Known mostly for two things: the birthplace of King David and where the prophesied messiah would be born.
Bethlehem was a pit stop on the way to greater places, like Jerusalem. Its greatness was just a memory and a dwindling hope.
It sets the scene for something amazing. It’s the space between promise and provision. Knowing the promise but waiting for the provision.
This is the setting. This is where God chose to reveal himself in the greatest way. This is where we see Emmanuel. God With Us! It shows God’s heart to enter into our brokenness, hurt, rejection, disappointment, pain, our least, and the parts of us we are not proud of.
God enters into our mess and provides a way to fullness of life. And the provision has a name: JESUS. He once told his followers “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (John 5:51) God met us and provided the Bread of Life in Bethlehem. In a manger.
Bethlehem reminds us of God’s provision.
Question: What space do you want Jesus to bring life to?
Prayer: God, thank you for sending your son to give us eternal life! Thank you for being God with us! Thank you for providing the Bread of Life. There are parts of me that need your life today. Help me to live in the fullness you promise and may your life in me overflow to others.
I love you Jesus!