||As we gather around the Advent Wreath, we will light again the first candle, reminding us of the promise God mad that He would send a Savior.
LIGHT THE FIRST CANDLE
Our second candle is the Bethlehem Candle.
LIGHT THE SECOND CANDLE
The prophet Micah had given another part of the promise. Jesus would be born in the little town of Bethlehem. This was told to the people hundreds of years before the Baby Jesus was born.
Mary and Joseph live a long distance from Bethlehem. How could Jesus be born in Bethlehem? How this all happened was quite amazing.
It was the King’s order. Everyone was to go to his home city to register for taxes. Everyone to his own city? Joseph’s home town was Bethlehem!
Mary and Joseph bundled up their belongings and left their home in Nazareth for the long journey to Bethlehem.
With advance notice for hundreds of years, you would expect the leaders of the town to welcome Mary and Joseph and rush them to the hospital for the birth of this special baby. The mayor’s wife would fluff Mary’s pillow and pour orange juice for her after the baby was born.
None of that happened. The noise and bustle of the town began earlier and were louder than usual. Donkeys were braying, dogs were barking, vendors were shouting and tourists were pushing. Pushing to get every available space, blanket or mat in the inn.
The town was so filled with people and camels and sheep and goats that there was NO place for Mary and Joseph except in a cave where animals stayed.
It was quiet there, away from the crowds. There with cows and sheep and goats; Jesus, the Son of God was born. Born in that little town of Bethlehem. Just as God had promised.
||Oh little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
||Draw names with your family. This week each person does special favors (secretly) for the family member whose name has been drawn. Have you guessed during the week who has your name?