Thursday, December 24, 2015


Entering the Grotto, Church of the Nativity
   Looking at what seemed to me to be a fairly ancient map, I found it.  Located just a couple miles out the road from my home, I was very familiar with what the map was showing me.  The map was not so ancient (less than 100 years), but the memory of this place was stored in the minds of very few.  So why was I so interested in finding it?  Because my Grandmother was born there.  The spot?  Beautiful, PA.  That is a noun, not an adjective.  There is nothing but a couple houses, three churches, a farm and an orchard within 300 yards of the dot on the map today.  There may have been less than that present on August 25, 1900 when my Grandmother was born.  Though small, the place held significance because she was significant to me.

The Christmas story contains a town like Beautiful, PA.  On the night Jesus was born, it was a very small village.  But hundreds of years earlier a prophet by the name of Micah said this about Bethlehem:

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”  Matthew 2:6 quoting Micah 5:2,4

Bethlehem was small.  There were far greater towns in the land of Judah.  The thing that made Bethlehem significant was the Someone who was born there. People still flock there today because of Him.  If it weren't for the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem would be just another small, West Bank, Arab town.  

The good news for us today is that it doesn't matter where we are, Jesus in us can make any place a place of significance.  It becomes important because He is important.  Its because Him in you is important.  If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, anywhere you go Jesus is there.  Just as He was born in Bethlehem, we join in the prayer of the Christmas hymn,

"Oh holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin and enter in, Be born in us today."

And when He is born in us, that makes us significant.

So rejoice.  You may not seem significant on the map of life.  In fact, you may sometimes feel like a little forgotten or erased dot.  But not to Him.  And if you never have received Him, do so today, and though you are least among others, in you will be born the One who loves you, created you, redeemed you and enables you to live life to the full, Jesus Christ.  

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