Today, December 19
OVER 100 IN FELLOWSHIP AROUND THE TABLE
Worship at 10:45
I learned from Jesus.”
That is basically true in my childhood and upbringing. While we practiced the blessing wrapping and giving gifts, Jesus was taught in my family as the greatest gift ever given. I learned to recite the Christmas story in the gospel of Luke when I was 7 or 8 years old. I loved the part about the shepherds in the fields keeping watch over their flocks by night. I remember the feelings of peace and joy when I quoted, “…and she brought forth her first born Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger because there was no room in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)
I remember feeling pretty upset about the inn keeper who would make the Son of God be born in a stable. It was later that I learned this inn keeper was more sensitive than anybody about the serene nature of what was about to take place. Overnight accommodations in those days were not like they are today. People piled in on each other sleeping together in cramped quarters where there was no privacy or respect for another person’s needs. The stable was the best place Mary and Joseph could have hoped for and the inn keeper was the one who took special care of them that night.
Today, our church family will continue its wonderful practice of sharing Christmas together around the table in our annual Bethlehem Breakfast. Like that first Christmas in Bethlehem people came together to be counted in the census ordered by Caesar Augustus. They all were together in one place and one time to be counted because they were descendants of King David. Praise God, our fellowship this morning is due to our relationship to Jesus Christ. We are family. We are believers who belong to the household of God. That’s makes us special and highly favored in God’s eyes. We truly are a blessed church family.
The final point I want to make about this Bethlehem gathering is that it is comprised of regular, everyday folks. There are no kings or government officials here. There are no star athletes or Hollywood superstars in this fellowship. We’re just normal, hardworking, tax-paying friends and neighbors. We are a lot like Mary and Joseph. While they were in Bethlehem that first Christmas night, no one noticed except angels and shepherds. There were no spotlights, parades or loudspeakers blaring the good news that Jesus was born. It was just a simple, quiet, and largely unpublicized occasion.
That’s the way God does things. He takes regular things and makes them special. He loves to turn the normal into the extraordinary. He makes heavy weights out of light weights. We celebrate our Bethlehem Breakfast this morning in the knowledge that God is with us. He is doing a great work in our church just like He did on that first Christmas night in Bethlehem when the Savior of the world was born. Let the miracle of Bethlehem be born in your heart this morning.