THE BETHLEHEM CANDLE
The Light bearing witness to the Savior who was born in Bethlehem.
The first impression of Palestine was of the strangely small scale of everything. But before nightfall one came to realize that this is an intrinsic part – that God wants to show us that nothing is great or small to Him who inhabited eternity in its dimensions of space as well as of time. It is a pivot land – and pivots are apt to be small things in the eyes of those who do not understand their meaning. (26 March 1924)
Scripture: Luke 2:1-7
- For what reason did Joseph leave Nazareth to go to Bethlehem?
- What is the significance of Joseph’s lineage: “house and line of David”?
- Describe the birth of Jesus.
Meditation on Scripture
This week the action narrows down to a place – Bethlehem; to a habitat – a stable outside an inn; to a crib – a hay-filled manger; to a baby – the long-awaited Christ. In preparation for the great Event, the principle characters – Mary and Joseph – are given a special light.
As we focus on the light shining on Bethlehem, we will consider the simplicity of the setting God selected to bestow His incomparable gift – a baby: God incarnate.
We will consider His choice of humble cast – the supportive characters of young Mary, Joseph the Carpenter – and the long-awaited King: in the form of a helpless baby!
And, as we consider His gift to us, we will reconsider our efforts of this week, giving to others – card writing, present buying and wrapping, and the sheer energy expended – as a direct response to God’s gift to us.
But the Bethlehem star may lead me
To the sight of Him who freed me
From the self that I have been.
Make me meek, Lord: Thou wert lowly;
Now beginning, and always:
Now begin, on Christmas Day.
-Gerald Manley Hopkins
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