Why wasn’t Jesus born in Chicago? I’m not being facetious. We have some great hospitals: Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, and the University of Chicago Medical Center. We also have great accommodations for families with newborns. Families may choose from hotels with the most basic amenities to extravagant penthouses. There’s something for everyone here in this city.
For all of Chicago’s appeal, Jesus wasn’t born here. Instead, God chose Bethlehem Ephratah (EF-ruh-tah) as the place where His Son would enter the world as a human being. Bethlehem Ephratah was the smaller of two Bethlehems in Israel, situated in the southern part of the country in the land of Judah near Jerusalem. Apart from being the birthplace of King David, this town had no prestigious credentials of which it could boast. Only God knows why He selected this obscure town, but we do know if Christ had been born anywhere else, the Scriptures concerning Him would not have been fulfilled.
Here is another reason God may have chosen lowly Bethlehem Ephratah: Jesus was to become the Savior of the entire world — not just the Savior of the most heavily populated metropolises of the world or the most elaborate cities of the world. The humble Savior’s compassion extended to the lowliest of communities. No town was too obscure for Him.
Perhaps you live in a small town which has little Christmas spirit. You wonder if there is any reason to celebrate the season this year, because no one else seems to care. Maybe you may live in a community where commercialization has caused many people to replace Jesus with secular characters like Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman. If Jesus’ birth could transform a tiny, obscure, Judean town into something special, then you can use this event to accomplish the same effect where you live. Let your home be a reminder to the community that the spirit of Christmas lives on today.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.
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