This Sunday, we continue with our Advent series and light the purple candle often referred to as the Bethlehem candle representing peace. The sermon will focus on the peace and the peace the Prince of Peace brings into our lives but I don’t want us to miss the significance of Bethlehem in the Christmas narrative—a place of humble beginnings and extraordinary promise. The prophet Micah foretells the birthplace of the future ruler of Israel, who is none other than the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
“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.” Micah 5:2
So, Bethlehem, a town seemingly ordinary to the eyes of the world, becomes the stage for the extraordinary drama of God’s redemptive plan. It is a place where the divine intersects with the earthly, and where promises, seven centuries in the making, find fulfillment in the cry of a newborn babe.
The name “Bethlehem” has its roots in Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament. In Hebrew, the name is “בֵּית לֶחֶם” (Beit Lechem), which can be translated to mean “House of Bread.”
The significance of the name is quite interesting in the context of the biblical narrative. Bethlehem is known as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, and the name “House of Bread” takes on a symbolic meaning in connection with Jesus being referred to as the “Bread of Life”. Bethlehem becomes a symbol—a sacred space where the Bread of Life was laid in a feeding trough, offering sustenance to a world hungering for hope and salvation and revealing a love that nourishes our souls and satisfies our deepest longings!
Hope to see you Sunday Morning!