12 Days of Christmas Carols: O Little Town of Bethlehem

“O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us, we pray.
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell.
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel.”

Matthew 2:4-6
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.  And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

When the wise men go to Israel looking for the King, they head to the most obvious place to begin their search—Jerusalem, the capital where the king’s palace was.  But a diligent search of the Scriptures showed it was prophesied that the Christ would be born not in the big city, but in the little town of Bethlehem.  So the wise men continue their journey, and there they find Jesus, in the city of His ancestor David the king.

This is the pattern of Jesus’ life.  He descended to the lower place.  He came from heaven to earth.  He came as a baby.  He came as a poor man.  He came as a humble servant.  In the Old Testament, God descended to dwell in the temple among His people.  And still He descends to us to dwell within our hearts, a most unlikely place for a King.  But He didn’t come just to live on earth for a time and then leave us behind, but He comes to abide, to stay, to ever be with us here.

One of the most precious things about our relationship with Jesus is that it is an eternal relationship.  Once we know Him, we are His forever.  Once we abide with Him, we abide with Him forever.  Once we have been reconciled to God through the blood of Christ, we will never be separated from Him.  Jesus can always be found.  We just have to know where to look.  And Jesus will be near.  He will be with us always, abiding in us as we abide in Him.

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