Tag Archives: Bethlehem

24 December – Who do you ask?

Answers are easier to find than ever – for some questions, at least. With internet access we can search for any question and find answers. Of course, one problem is that we have to work out which answers are right, or at least best. More complicated, though, is that we have to work out who’s giving the answers – and what their agenda might be.

The Wise Men went to the obvious place to look for a King of Israel – the palace in Jerusalem. When they realised they were in the wrong place and asked for directions, the answer they got was correct – they needed to go to Bethlehem. But they had asked the wrong person, and Herod had his own agenda. His agenda was to make sure that he stayed in power, whatever he had to do to make it happen. And he didn’t have space in his plans for another king. What he did next is in Matthew 2:13-18.

In the last couple of years we’ve become aware of the dangers of our choosing where we get our information about the world, because we tend to go to people, websites and broadcasters who seem to agree with us. Then we forget that just because someone shares our bias, that doesn’t make them unbiased. We need to be careful who we go to for answers – they may be asking different questions from us, and the ‘right’ answer can lead to the wrong consequences.

 

The animations in this series are by Jon Birch, and used by permission, but please don’t download them or post them elsewhere, as the copyright doesn’t allow that. Find out more at http://proost.co.uk/altadvent.

23 December – Still to come…

One of the risks of an Advent calendar (video or otherwise!) is that we begin to think of Christmas as a wonderful ending. In fact, of course, it’s just a beginning. In today’s video Mary looks back on Jesus’ first year, their first year as a family – and wonders how all the things that God had said about him will happen.

You might like to listen to the song, ‘Mary did you know?’ – it’s a wonderful reflection on all the things that were still to come. But for the moment, Mary didn’t know. And finding out would be a lifetime’s journey with Jesus.

What’s ahead of you on your journey with Jesus? Like Mary, you could spend some time wondering, asking God to open the right doors for his will to be done through you.

 

The animations in this series are by Jon Birch, and used by permission, but please don’t download them or post them elsewhere, as the copyright doesn’t allow that. Find out more at http://proost.co.uk/altadvent.

15 December – No room with the relatives

We all know that there was ‘no room at the inn’ in Bethlehem, but have you ever wondered why Mary and Joseph had to try the inn in the first place, when this was Joseph’s home town?

You’d think that Joseph’s family would have made space for a heavily pregnant daughter in law, wouldn’t you? Perhaps some of the rumours about Mary had come down from Nazareth ahead of her – perhaps Joseph’s family suspected that the child was not Joseph’s, and weren’t willing to take in ‘That Mary’. We don’t know, but it seems possible, doesn’t it?

Is there anyone in your family who you’re keeping at a distance because of something they’ve done or have been said to have done? Why not reach out to them this Christmas?

The animations in this series are by Jon Birch, and used by permission, but please don’t download them or post them elsewhere, as the copyright doesn’t allow that. Find out more at http://proost.co.uk/altadvent.

14 December – What about Bethlehem?

Bethlehem wasn’t an impressive or important place at the time Mary and Joseph were on their way there. A thousand years earlier it had produced the greatest of kings, David, but life had been quiet there since.

Yet at around the same time as Isaiah, over 700 years before Jesus was born, another prophet, Micah, had seen that it was in Bethlehem that the king greater than David would one day be born. Perhaps if Joseph had remembered that prophecy he wouldn’t have been so sure that God would make sure they had time to get back to Nazareth before Jesus was born!

Is there anything you’re missing in the Bible that might mean you’ll have to change your plans about the future? Ask God to show you what you need to know!

 

The animations in this series are by Jon Birch, and used by permission, but please don’t download them or post them elsewhere, as the copyright doesn’t allow that. Find out more at http://proost.co.uk/altadvent.