God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

eight days

Photobucket
a shepherd and his flock outside of Bethlehem.

Bethlehem is in the hill country of Judah, about 6 miles east of Jerusalem, and is probably most known as the city where Jesus was born. Our first account of Bethlehem, or Bit-lahmi, was from the Amarna Letters, written in 1400 BC. Bethlehem is also treasured for other important reasons as well. Rachel, the wife of Jacob, died in Bethlehem giving birth to Benjamin (Genesis 35:19). After Ruth moved from Moab with Naomi, she gleaned the fields of Boaz in this city(Ruth 1:22). King David was a young shepherd boy from Bethlehem (1 Samuel 17:12), and the city earned the name, “the City of David” for that reason.

Caesar Augustus decreed a census, so Joseph had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a 69 mile trip, to register there because “he was of the house and family of David” (Luke 2:4). It was here that Mary gave birth to Jesus. Tradition says that Jesus was born in a cave, and as the Bible says, “ [Mary] laid Him [Jesus] in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). I guess there were a lot of people there for the Roman census.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.
Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.”
Micah 5:2-4

song of the day:

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

“Fear not then,” said the Angel,
“Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan’s power and might.”
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

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