“Long time ago in Bethlehem” is the beginning of a well-known Christmas song written in 1956 made famous by Harry Belafonte, but Bethlehem is not the beginning of the story.
Like all good stories it has a beginning, middle and an end.
Hundreds of years before the first Christmas God raised up prophets who foretold the coming of God’s Messiah who would save the people, but this is still not the beginning of the story!
Long before there was a town called Bethlehem, a garden called Eden, and a planet called Earth, a decision was made in eternity that God would send His Son to redeem us. This is the first act! This act comes from a heart of pure love, love for His creation, love for you and me. God’s love transcends time, it makes no score of wrongs, it is patient and kind, it rejoices in the truth and brings one face to face with reality – God loves you!
Even before this world began you were on His mind. By God’s amazing grace and from the beginning of time He had you in mind. All that time He has been waiting for you to call him Father. You may not know Him, but He knows all about you and he loves you – unconditionally.
As you open your Christmas presents this year stop to reflect on that first Christmas when God became man, no king’s palace or state of the art cot for Him! A stable, feeding trough, straw for bedding and strips of raged cloth for bed clothes.
From day one the Saviour of the world came in humility and through His life showed His Father’s love in all that He said and did. He was, and is, the face of God to us – I ask you this Christmas to consider your response to such awesome love and amazing grace.
May you know the warmth of God’s love this Christmas.
Blessings in the name of our Messiah – Jesus.