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With the closing of the words from the prophet Malachi, God closed the Old Testament historically and prophetically. God was prophetically silent for the next 400 years. But He was not inactive. God was at work moving all of history toward Himself. In the small town of Bethlehem God would break His prophetic silence with the angels announcement of good news and great joy that the Savior, Christ the Lord, had been born. The word nativity means birth. When we speak of the Nativity, we are simply referring to the birth of Jesus.  Have you ever wondered why God chose Bethlehem as the birthplace of the King of Kings? Consider the following. God chose Bethlehem because a plan was in motion. History is His Story of redemption. In Genesis 3:15 God promised that the seed of the woman would one day crush the head of the enemy, Satan. Bethlehem was not the beginning of the story because the gospel began in the heart of God. God was at work in His time bringing about His plan that He had set in motion at the very beginning of the universe. God chose Bethlehem because a promise was being kept.God’s promises tell us what God is going to do. In II Samuel 7:12-16, God had promised that the everlasting king of the Jews would come through the lineage of David. God’s promises reflect His love. God had promised the Messiah, the King of Kings, the everlasting covenant with His people. In Luke 2:4 the Bible tells us that Joseph, who was engaged to Mary the mother of Jesus, travelled to his hometown of Bethlehem to be registered in the census. God kept His promise of an everlasting kingship through the lineage of David. God chose Bethlehem because a prophecy was being fulfilled. God’s promises tell us what God is going to do. God’s prophecies tell us how He is going to get it done. God had promised the everlasting covenant with Israel. He prophesied through Isaiah that the Messiah would be born of the virgin Mary. “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” The name Bethlehem means house of bread. In John 6:35 Jesus refers to Himself as the bread of life. What better place for thebread of life to be born than in the house of bread. Micah 5:2 prophesied, “But as for you, Bethlehem …, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” God was keeping His promise and fulfilling His prophecy. We have much to celebrate at this time of the year! I want to encourage you to be intentional about enjoying the celebration of the Christmas season. I hope you will take time to include some opportunities to keep you and your family anchored to the Reason for the Season, Jesus. The worship choir at Centennial Baptist Church will be presenting the Living Christmas Tree, “The Light of Christmas“ on Saturday, December 13 at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, December 14 at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary at Centennial Baptist Church. We would love to have you join us.

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