Skip to main content

The House of Bread

It's Saturday, the 21st day in the third week of Advent.  The scripture reading for today follows yesterday's and brings us back to the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem.

Luke 2:1-7
1  In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
2  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3  And everyone went to his own town to register.
4  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
5  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
7  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

All over the world people gather to worship during Advent - proclaiming Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.  All of this is done in the midst of everyday living...with work to be done, appointments to keep, shuttling children to school and events, helping with homework, doing the wash, making meals, going to the office, arranging for the plumber or electrician to come...everyday stuff.
The world today is filled with the mundane...even in the midst of wars, economy, political realities and nations posturing for power.

We focus on our world and the "urgent" among us and often forget that God as it work behind the scenes.    Caesar is on the throne.  His armies have moved in Gaul, conquered in Arabia, marched on England, and Rome is filled with the politics of building projects, raising taxes, and power moves.  Caesar believes HE is the most powerful person in the world.  They named him "Augustus" - the "holy, revered one".  Some of his lackeys ruling in his empire name places after him...they did in Israel with Caesarea.  One Roman coin discovered has a picture of him with the words "savior of the world".  It is the cult of Caesar that dominates the news.

Behind the scene, several thousands of miles away, God is at work.  God uses the decree of the Emperor to fulfill an ancient prophecy in the book of Micah that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.  NO ONE thought much of a young couple traveling on donkey from the north to the south of Israel - to Bethlehem.

Bethlehem - "The House of Bread"

  • King David was born there, and was a shepherd there.
  • Boaz had married Ruth there.
  • Jacob had buried his wife Sarah there a 1000 years before.
A small village built on steep desert hills.  Micah 5:2 
2  "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." 

Bethlehem, a small Cambria where I live  Who believes anything good can come from a small village like that?  God did.
Caesar was on the throne and he ruled over the whole known world...but what he didn't know that day was that God's Kingdom was about to invade the earth!

The lesson?  Do not believe the news...our world in turmoil lay the hymn says, but God is still on His throne, his will to be done.



Popular posts from this blog

Welcome to Advent 2011 - Day 1

Advent is a wonderful opportunity to take time to "ponder" Jesus and the Incarnation.  It is not for "fast food" devotions; but rather, a time for "thinking" about all that God has done in sending his Son - Jesus, our Savior, to the world that ultimately would reject him!

Each day we'll read some scripture...then I'll share some thoughts on the passage and invite you to "comment", so that we can all gain from a wider community of God's people.  Please feel free to "comment" at the end of each post.

Finally there is an encouragement to pray, asking God to make the Word spoken more real in our hearts than we can ever gain from our intellect alone.

TODAY:  We read Isaiah 43:14, 18-21

Thus says the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: … Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? … For I put water in the desert and r…

The Messy Church

The First letter to the Corinthians is what I started reading a couple of days ago.  I'm just about done with it, and it is a picture of the "Messy" Church.
The Corinthian believers, like all believers in that first century, were newly established in their faith.  They probably were a mixture of both Jewish converts and Gentile believers.  Corinth is a port city in lower Greece, and had a reputation for being a city of perversion...sort of "whatever you want, you can get it in Corinth". In fact, to "Corinthianize" was to commit sexual immorality.  It is in this cultural setting that the church in Corinth comes into being.
The church struggled...division, sexual immorality, along with incest, eating foods that were dedicated to idols/gods, marriage's in struggles, freedom vs license as well as freedom vs. law, men and women in pure relationships, abuses in worship, trouble with use of gifts of the Spirit, and doubts about the resurrection...what a…

Advent Day 1, Waiting in Joyful Hope

Psalm 25:1-7
1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
2  O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame;let not my enemies exult over me.
3  Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4  Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
5  Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;for you I wait all the day long.
6  Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
7  Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me,for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!

Psalm 25:16-21
16  Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

Psalm 130:5
5  I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

The first of day of Advent has arrived.  The short season this year still involves waiting. I knew that from my childhood.  Advent came and we waited.  Anticipation was interrupted with pr…