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  • Writer's picturePastor Jim Stultz

The Road to Bethlehem

               The roads during the Christmas holiday are filled with travelers trying to reach their loved ones.  If you have ever traveled those holiday roads you know the mixture of excitement, danger and frustration that accompany your trip.  Whether your trip is just across town or hundreds of miles away, the destination is worth the journey to be with loved ones.

            That first Christmas saw the road to Bethlehem also filled with travelers.  First, we meet Joseph and Mary on the road to Bethlehem.  They were required to return to Joseph’s ancestral home to be counted in the census ordered by Rome.  The 80-mile trip must have been extremely difficult for Mary being nine months pregnant.  The trip though demanded by the government was sovereignly organized by God as Jesus was born in Bethlehem in fulfillment of the Micah 5:2 prophecy: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting”.

            Other travelers on the road to Bethlehem were the wisemen.  Their journey over 900 miles took them a long time.  God gave them a special sign, a miraculous star that announced the birth of the King. The star led them to Jerusalem where God's prophets told them that the King would be born in Bethlehem. They went to Bethlehem, and there they worshiped the Christ Child.

            The shepherds had the shortest distance to travel on the road to Bethlehem.  They were watching their sheep out in the fields around Bethlehem when they were surrounded by the glory of God and a multitude of angels.  One of those angels told them about the wonderful news of a Savior being born.  They jumped on the road to Bethlehem and hurried into town and found the baby in a manger just as the angel said.

            You and I need to travel often on the road to Bethlehem.  Joseph and Mary brought their child to Bethlehem as the Son of God was born in a stable.  The wise men brought their gifts to Bethlehem, and the shepherds brought their worship and excited eagerness to tell the story.  What will we bring to Bethlehem?

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