Bethlehem wasn’t a winter wonderland. It was mild, with dusty roads and scrubby bushes and trees. A manger was a far cry from a baby bed, and He wore swaddling clothes, not cute onesies or warm pajamas. His mother was an exhausted young woman, who gave birth in a stable, not a sterile hospital room. Her only birthing companion was her husband, not a midwife, doctor, or nurse. Instead of a waiting room full of anxious and excited family, there were shepherds, a few sheep, and later some Wisemen from the East, bearing the only baby shower gifts received: Gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Humble beginnings for the King of Kings.
But yet hope sprang eternal in that Baby’s cry beneath a bright and guiding star. Hope for redemption. Hope for an abiding grace and unfathomable mercy – not deserved, but certainly hoped for. Hope for peace during a time when the world was such a violent place.
This year has been a whirlwind of events which have taken our breath and worried our souls. It’s been a year when peace of mind became a precious commodity. But now…during this time of giving each other gifts, spending time with treasured family and friends, let’s pause and remember the hope which took on a human form one night in Bethlehem of Judea, thousands of years ago. And as we face the New Year, let’s remember no matter what it may throw at us, we still have that Blessed Hope.
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the Kings and Princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks
The real work of Christmas begins.
To find the lost
To feed the hungry
To release the prisoners
To rebuild the nations
To bring peace among brothers and sisters
To make music in the heart.
— Howard Thurmon
Merry, Merry Christmas, from My House to Yours!
Love and Stitches,