Christmas Countdown Day 13 focused on Bethlehem. This town was where Joseph’s family was from, and where he and Mary had to travel to be counted in the census. Bethlehem was the “city of David,” the ancestral home of King David, whose line God promised would reign as kings in Israel forever. Prophets had foretold that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Messiah, the King of Kings. But as Mary gave birth to Jesus in a Bethlehem stable and laid her son in a manger, where the animals would gather to eat, they must have felt far removed from royalty.
Bethlehem means “house of bread.” Bread is a basic staple of life. Even in the poorest of places, a scrap of bread will sustain and give life. The apostle John describes Jesus as the “bread of life.” He is what we need to truly live. And, Jesus made his entrance into the world in the house of bread, to offer each of us life. Our ornament for the day, made of egg cartons, helps remind us of Bethlehem, the birthplace of our Savior.