Advent Devotional: It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O'er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o'er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Comes round the age of gold
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling
And our whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
There are over 300 prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament and every single one of them is fulfilled in the Gospels! One prophecy even pertained to the place where He would be born. Bethlehem at the time was not an important place. It held no prestige or power. Jesus could have been born in Jerusalem or Rome or Athens - cities that have shaped the world. Places where the most brilliant minds and gifted leaders converged. Just as it is hard to see how someone born in Bethlehem can change the world, it is often very difficult for us to see that we are where God wants us to be right now. However it is in the small forgotten places that God does many of His most powerful works.
FATHER help us to trust in Your ways and Your timing. Cause us each day to put all our faith in You!