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One Night in the Town of Bethlehem
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It’s getting late and I’m so tired from baking all day. My aching back and swollen feet will need to wait a while before relief can come. The travelers will need nourishment as they come from distant lands for the census ordered by Emperor Augustus. I must be prepared. My supply of grapes, raisins, nuts, olives and unleavened bread is running low. As I begin filling the olive jar I look up and more travelers are coming into my shop.
“Shalom! Please, can you spare some food? My family is hungry and tired,” says the weary stranger.
“Yes, come, come,” my motioning arm draws them in closer to the warmth of the fire. I begin wrapping some supplies when I’m asked if they can sleep in my shop tonight. Shaking my head, sadly I must refuse them. “My relatives are staying with me during the required census. I simply have no more room. But try the inn at the edge of town.” They nod and thank me for the bread and fruit I was able to give.
As we ready more bread for the fire my visiting sister whispers, “Have you heard the rumors of a Messiah being born in Bethlehem?”
“Yes, I’ve heard such stories from the women at the well. I pray there is truth to them.”
A poor beggar approaches my bakery but she is driven away by the cruel Roman soldiers who police our streets looking for unusual signs of this forth-coming Savior. I so wanted to give that poor women some dates and bread when her sunken eyes met mine. But then I , too, would be under the suspicious eyes of the soldiers! So many people--never have I seen the town overflowing so with life!
Later, much later, some shepherds who have been watching an unusually bright star come charging through the town with stories of angels singing in the heavens proclaiming the birth of a child! My heart pounds. Could it be possible that God chose our little town for the birth of a Savior?
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good new of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Yes, the miracle did happen! God loved us so much that he sent his Son to save us. At the edge of town on that long ago night, in a lowly stable, a little boy came into this hurting world. His mother kissed his tiny hands and gazed into his eyes. Her loving heart was unaware of the lonesome journey her son would one day take. A journey that would save the world!
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