From the Pastor's Desk
This Christmas, God has been speaking to me again about place. God moves in the context of place. He sets the place for us (Acts 17:26). We have a covenant with place. God will bless us when we are in the right place (Acts 2:1). I have wrestled to find my place. It is good when you do. We call it "home."
Jesus was born in a place called Bethlehem. It comes from the Hebrew, beit lechem, and it means "House of Bread." The Bread of Life was born in the House of Bread. We refer to bread as the staff of life. We use it as metaphor that means we have all the basic necessities. In other words, we get what we really need for Christmas, which is Jesus. When my dreams and plans have failed or at least look very different than I imagined, just give me Jesus. I want to live at a place called Bethlehem, where Jesus is all I need.
Jesus grew up in Nazareth (Mt. 2:23). It comes from the Hebrew, netzeret, and it means branch. That was a significant prophetic term of the Messiah (Isa. 11:1). The Branch was born in a place called the Branch. A branch is not a big tree. It's a sprout, and it speaks of smallness and weakness. But it can branch out to fill the earth with fruit. Nazareth was considered a nothing place. It's not who you are, but what comes out of you that makes the difference. So I want to live in a place called Nazareth, too. It's not me. It's what God can bring out of me that matters.
At what place do you find yourself this Christmas? Know your place. And don't be ashamed of where you come from!
Pastors Mark and Jennifer