[Calvary Chapel] 2016-12-08 - How Far is it to Bethlehem?

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How far indeed? And what measure would be used to determine the distance?

The Wise Men came a great distance from Persia. The number three is uncertain, maybe more and probably in a large caravan in order to defend against robbers who would attack travelers along the trade routes. They had seen the star and followed until they found the home of the child. Do we measure this in curiosity and patience searching for the new born King?

The shepherds came leaving their flocks untended after being informed by angels announcing that Messiah had been born in the nearby town. They hurried to Bethlehem to find the child. They left the manger praising God, probably making anyone who heard them curious as well. Measure this late night journey in joy.

Mary and Joseph traveled, Mary great with child, from Nazareth to Bethlehem obeying Caesar's decree. They had both been visited by an angel with instructions for Joseph and an humbling announcement for Mary, chosen by the Father to be the parents to the long-promised Messiah, Yeshua. Measure this trip in trust and obedience.

The Son of God had come from Heaven. He veiled His omnipotence in human flesh and was born like you or me. He was not born to a wealthy family. He was born to a very faithful mother and step-father. His destiny was the cross. His shed blood would offer salvation from sin and death to all who would answer the call, "Come, follow me."

This journey was planned before time began. The time was known only by God the Father to save His creation from eternal loss. God the Son came to live the same life we live, but without sin to become the perfect, spotless sacrificial Lamb of God. He would break the power of sin and death over mankind. The distance was measured in the love of the Father for a sinful creation, and the obedience of the Son to die in our place.

This season we remember the first steps from Bethlehem.

Is there a distance to measure for each of us to Bethlehem? I know someone who would read the story of the birth of Christ from Luke with tears of joy. That was his measure.

What is your measure? Selah.

How Far is it to Bethlehem?

How far is it to Bethlehem?
Not very far.
Shall we find the stable room
Lit by a star?
Can we see the little Child?
Is He within?
If we lift the wooden latch
May we go in?

May we stroke the creatures there
Ox, ass, or sheep?
May we peep like them and see
Jesus asleep?
If we touch His tiny hand
Will He awake?
Will He know we've come so far
Just for His sake?

Great kings have precious gifts
And we have naught
Little smiles and little tears
Are all we brought.
For all weary children
Mary must weep
Here, on His bed of straw
Sleep, children, sleep.

God in His mother's arms
Babes in the byre
Sleep, as they sleep who find
Their heart's desire.

Nancy "Honeytree" Henigbaum

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Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com

All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.

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