O Little Town Of Bethlehem, How Much We Can Learn From You

Each year, as Christmas approaches, God turns my thinking to Jesus’ birth and new ways I can learn from this miracle.

This year, I’ve been thinking about how, of all places, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  It was small, overlooked, and unimportant, but it was here that God became Man and Salvation was born.

I’ve been meditating on the fact that, at that time, the Jewish world was in crisis.  It was ruled by the Roman state and the people were laid low under their oppression.  Everything that they had hoped had fallen apart under the weight of their ancestors’ rebellion against God.  Life was hard and it didn’t seem like there was any hope for improvement.

Those of you who are in healthcare – especially students and residents – may be feeling a bit like this right now!  The semester has made you weary and now, with a few weeks (or days) off, you finally have time to think about how difficult life really is.

I want to offer you the following encouragements in the hopes that God may use them to lift your spirits during Advent:

– Is it possible, like the citizens of Bethlehem, that you have practically “missed” Jesus’ coming, His quiet but real involvement in your life?

– Consider how gentle and patient Jesus is.  He could have come in anger and judgment, but instead He came as a gentle, vulnerable infant!  How has Christ been like this in your life this past year?

– Finally, how can you model these qualities for those around you over the next few weeks?

May God give us grace to wonder, once again, at the miracle of Christ’s birth.  Merry Christmas!

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About Bryan Stoudt

On my personal website (bryanstoudt.com), I help Christians follow Jesus in a noisy, broken world. I also have the privilege of helping Philadelphia's healthcare students and professionals do this as Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA). More information at cmdaphiladelphia.org. On a personal note, I'm fortunate to be married to my wonderful wife, Sharon. Together, we have four fantastic children. In my spare time, I enjoy roasting coffee, running, reading and learning foreign languages.
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