In this episode we will jump into the second episode of our Advent series this year titled, “The Christ of Christmas”. Pastor Harris will tell us more about the “Little town of Bethlehem” which was made famous by the great Christmas carol that we all have sung so many times. Bethlehem is located some six miles south of the city of Jerusalem near the chief north-south route that links Jerusalem with the town of Hebron. The word Bethlehem means “house of bread” and its significance lies in the fact that it is located in a fertile region characterized by an abundance of grain, especially barley and wheat, thus “house of bread.”
The town was originally called Ephrathah, which means “fruitful.” The first biblical mention of the site is that it was the place where Jacob’s wife, Rachel, was buried after her untimely death, so the city must have existed as early as the time of Jacob and perhaps earlier.
In the prophetic book of Micah, Bethlehem is given its crowning glory. The prophet declares that this village will be the birthplace of Israel’s Messiah. In fact, Micah 5:2 reads as follows:
“But you, Bethlehem, though you were 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 old, from everlasting.”
Ever since the first century AD, Bethlehem has been a place of pilgrimage and throughout the following centuries the city has continued to be a sacred site for Christians worldwide. There, we find the very ancient Church of the Nativity, perhaps the oldest church building in existence, which is located in the middle of the town. Beneath this church is a grotto, a cave, and it is here where the Lord Jesus Christ was born. In this teaching, Pastor Harris will be making reference to this cave and to the One who was born here.