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New Life is Nearby

New Life is Nearby

It is only nine miles away. Nine miles goes by quickly if you are on a highway and driving 65 miles per hour. It goes by a little more slowly if you are on a bicycle and it goes by much more slowly if you are walking. Bethlehem is only nine miles from Jerusalem. Why did God arrange to have baby Jesus born in Bethlehem instead of Jerusalem? It would seem much better in Jerusalem - the capital city and the place where everything happened. Jerusalem had leaders, the Temple, activity, and lights. Bethlehem was not a place on any tourist map at the time. Bethlehem had shepherds and flocks of sheep. It was a small village and not a place anyone would think of going for something important.

However, that is where God chose to enter the human race. That is where He decided to bring new life and new light to the whole world - starting in little Bethlehem. The light of the angels shone brightly on that dark night and the angels announced to the shepherds that the Messiah was born. Shepherds instead of religious leaders. Bethlehem instead of Jerusalem. A baby born of two ordinary, common people instead of a royal birth. Jesus was born in a stable instead of a palace or the Temple. The religious leaders and the political leaders in Jerusalem knew nothing about the birth and were going about their business as usual. The population of Jerusalem had no idea that God had just sent the long-awaited Messiah to earth as a baby and not as a king. And he was only nine miles away.

That is how we are sometimes - oblivious that God is nearby and not realizing that he is at work to bring each of us a better life. He is working to give us a life of hope and a life filled with His love and peace. He is working to bring hope back into our lives when we have lost hope because of loss and grief. He is working to bring His love and forgiveness to us when we are consumed with hate and feelings of anger toward others. He is working to grow a new branch in our lives. We can feel far away from God at times, but He is really close by. We can feel that God has forgotten us and our circumstances, but He is really aware of what is going on in our lives and is working to bring about wholeness and hope.

The Christmas season is a time to recognize God at work. It is a time to allow him to draw close to us. It is a time to allow new life and new hope to spring forth in our own lives.

David Brock

 

david brock ovalDavid loves being with people and greatly enjoys serving as pastor of Spiceland Friends Church. He and his wife, Linda, enjoy spending time with their three grown children and their grandchildren. David is also a full-time attorney. David likes to say that his job description is simple - it is like a pizza delivery person - deliver a hot, fresh sermon each week in LESS THAN 20 MINUTES! Actually, he does a few more things at the church, but his focus on the pastoral team is preparing a Sunday morning message that makes the scripture relevant and applicable to our lives.


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