The Place God Makes Himself Known to Us
Every Christmas we find it remarkable that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Most of us believe Jesus would have made a bigger impact in Jerusalem or Rome. But Jerusalem and Rome were big cities, crowded with commerce and busy with government affairs. Like New York or Washington, important people were busy doing important things in Jerusalem and Rome. By contrast, Bethlehem was a quiet, nondescript village of shepherds and farmers. And maybe that’s why God chose to have Jesus born there, in a quiet, off-the-beaten-path place. Perhaps God, just to make a point, ignores all the so-called centers of power and bypasses all the so-called influences of self importance.
Maybe God chose to rearrange the geography of the world a little by declaring on this Christmas day that Bethlehem—not Jerusalem and not Rome—was the most important place in the world. According to Paul in his first letter to the Corinthian church, God has chosen the weak things to overcome the strong—even the things that are sent to accomplish His will. So He chose Bethlehem to be the little town that overwhelmed Jerusalem. And it is the same with us. God chooses the weak places in our lives—the overlooked and unimportant places—to make Himself known to us. Those are the places in our lives that become important only because God is there. So look in the last place you would expect to find God in your life. If Bethlehem is any example, that will be the first place He chooses.