Luke 2:4-6 (NKJV)
“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into 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 wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.”
Have you ever noticed that no matter where you are driving on a long trip you can go through towns, cities, and villages of all sizes? What about walking through the countryside and you come upon a small cluster of houses? Maybe in either case, you want to dig a little deeper into the name or who may have come from there?
No matter where you go in this world there is always some type of history for the area and how the name came to be. We may be surprised at how many names are actually from a person or their family, especially when they end in ville, ton, dale, or burg. The history can get even more intriguing when the name comes from a landmark or what the area is known for.
I live in Pennsylvania which means Penn’s woods in honor of William Penn’s father. We have cities named Jim Thorpe in honor of an Olympic hero, Pittsburg after William Pitt, and of course Hershey for Milton, not the chocolate factory. Then we have Steelton for the steel factory, Valley Forge for the iron forge along Valley Creek, and of course Coaldale and Carbon County after the coal industry.
Even if you are not a fan of history you may not be able to find some of the places your favorite celebrities and athletes come from. Places like Kosciusko, Mississippi, Windermere, Florida, and Wyomissing, PA. If we really dove into all the details of anyone we follow, watch, or admire we would find many who were from villages that were barely a speck on the map.
If you really want to throw a further spin on the whole situation then you must dig even deeper to see if they were also born in the same place. We cannot escape this question as we go through life because the country, city, and sometimes even the hospital where we were born is listed on any number of applications.
In the whole grand scheme of things where we are born does not really mean anything other than maybe our nationality and how we are officially counted. There are times when we could be referred to because of our area.
Something interesting to look at in your family is if where you grew up is where you were born. I can say that within my immediate family, not one of us were born in the small town where we grew up. This does frequently happen if a family moves around, but it is also true that many areas do not have a proper medical facility to handle the birth. This was not the case over the centuries when people could have been born at home.
Most times when a child is going to be born we have plenty of warning that the baby will be arriving and those months can be spent preparing for the blessed event. Sometimes there may be a longer timeframe if a couple has been trying to add to their family.
How would you feel if you were told that your child’s birth was predicted centuries ago and even tell you where the birth will happen. We all know the Christmas story when Jesus was born that includes the opening scripture, but some of us may not know that where our Savior was born was predicted some 700 years earlier.
We find this in Micah 5:2, “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.” Of all the small towns Bethlehem was identified.
What is even more amazing is that not long after Micah, Jeremiah gave us further information as to what family line the Messiah would come from. Jeremiah 23:5, “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.”
Small town bringing forth a King from the line of David, but not just any small town. The one where David himself was from. 1 Samuel 17:12, “Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse, and who had eight sons. And the man was old, advanced in years, in the days of Saul.”
When you really dig into God’s word you find a trail through a thousand years leading up to Jesus’ birth. The world was waiting for the coming of a Messiah and He arrived where it was said He would. In a world where people want to cast doubt it gets harder and harder for people to hear this truth through all the rhetoric.
We need to take time this Advent season to rediscover the truthfulness of God’s word. Our Lord was descended from a King but was not born in a palace. Instead of a royal party, He was surrounded by everyday people.
The Savior of the world was born in a stable in a small town. Even though He came from humble beginnings, He was here to save everyone on earth. We need to remember this when we look at ourselves. No matter where we were born or where we come from, God has created each of us for a purpose and it is up to us to honor Him by showing the world what that is.
LARGER THAN THE PLACE OF OUR BIRTH
They can flash by you in a second as you’re driving down the road,
Or stumble upon them as you’re walking a path that’s overgrowed.
From several to many houses they can vary so greatly in size,
Not knowing any history their importance may be hard to realize.
Each one has a name and a story for how they became known,
May be where a famous person came from or a historic milestone.
The places where we live may not be the same where we begin,
We can even travel around this world till we come back home again.
Our Lord and Savior did travel through big cities of importance and might,
But he traveled for days to a small town to be born on that faithful night.
The place itself was not very famous except for a King from centuries before,
It connected the past to the future as told in the verses of yore.
A King not born in a palace with no royal proclamation read out loud,
Instead He was found in a stable and rejoiced by the everyday crowd.
He may have come from humble beginnings but was here to save all on earth,
As we are all created for His purpose much larger than the place of our birth.
Simple Faith Christian