12/25/14: The Perfect Birthplace?
On October 4, 2014, I had the unparalleled privilege to witness the birth of my first grandson, Dallas Andrew. He was born in a large, beautiful, and well-equipped labor-delivery-recovery (LDR) room in the lovely, new wing of a New Orleans hospital that was not far from his parents’ home. Somewhere between 6 – 10 nurses assisted during the 41 hours of labor, and the anesthesiologist and doctor were there immediately upon every need. Dallas made his debut into the world at exactly 1:00pm. Everything he and his mom required was readily available. The room was the perfect birthplace.
The Bible speaks of another birthplace that at first may not seem like such a perfect location. First of all, it was a little place. Micah 5:2 says, “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” (NKJ). Second, it was out of the way. The expectant couple had to travel a long way during the mother’s ninth month to reach it. “Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David” Luke 2:4. Third, it was unprepared. Luke 2:7 tells us that the poor expectant mother “brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Finally, it was not private. Shepherds received a message to go search for the newborn and Luke 2:15-16 records their reaction. “‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.”
While the probable discomfort of Jesus’ birth makes Dallas’ birth look like a vacation to the Bahamas, at second glance, Jesus’ birthplace was more perfect than it seemed. The small place, Bethlehem, the house of bread, corresponds to one of His own self-identifications. In John 6:35, He says of Himself, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger.” The out of the way location matches with the fact that we must seek Him to find Him (see Acts 17:27). The unprepared setting speaks to the condition of our hearts when Christ wants to come in. We can’t do anything to get ourselves right or ready, but He arrives anyway, (much like Dallas did) ready to take up residence and run the show. The “not private” nature of the birthplace speaks to our excitement and responsibility, like that of the shepherds, to spread the word about the arrival of the Lamb, the King, and the Savior, Jesus the Christ, who is not only present in our lives, but who is available to be present in theirs. Besides, as John the Baptist declared in John 1:29, where else should the “Lamb of God” be born but in a barn?
Is your heart a Bethlehem? It is the perfect birthplace for the Savior to be born in you either anew or afresh. Determine to allow Him to really live in your life today. Worship God this Christmas and see Him today as the new born King.
©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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Why I Get Into Trouble
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Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children
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Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame
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