Action Zones 

The Rockin' Rev December 2019

ROCKIN REV

The town is located about 5 or 6 miles southwest of Jerusalem. Approximately 60,000 people live in and around its borders today. Around the town there are some 32 physical barriers to restrict Palestinian movement, including checkpoints, roadblocks, dirt mounds, gates, and a concrete wall between 6 to 8 meters high, which makes the town seem a bit like an open prison

 
The town is perched on some rounded hills and has an eastward orientation that offers a breathtaking view of the Judean wilderness and the Dead Sea. The town is home to one of the oldest surviving Christian churches – the Church of the Nativity – which stands over a cave believed to be the very spot where Jesus was born
 
You guessed! I’m referring, of course, to the town of Bethlehem
 
Two thousand years ago, Bethlehem was a small village. It was a useful place for travelers to stop and take on supplies. It became the location for the most talked about birth in human history. The birth of Jesus Christ would give to the little town of Bethlehem a reputation and significance out of all proportion to its size
 
Long before the birth of Jesus took place the Hebrew prophets foretold that the Messiah, the Christ, would be born at Bethlehem:

But you, Bethlehem in the land of Judah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times (Micah 5:2 – The Bible)

 
The name ‘Bethlehem’ means ‘House of Bread’. The town got its name because the most suitable crops needed to make bread grew in the rich fertile soil of Bethlehem. And so the baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the ‘House of Bread’

Some years later, when Jesus began his ministry as a travelling preacher and teacher, he said of himself:
I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty (John 6:35 – The Bible)
 
That’s quite a statement. What was Jesus talking about? Well, there are many forms of hunger and there are different ways to satisfy hunger
 
I hunger for food and water. I hunger for meaning, for purpose, for significance, and for security. I hunger for truth, for hope, for peace, and for love. I hunger for God
 
Jesus claimed to be bread for hungry people. Don’t go hungry! Come to Jesus this Christmastime!

LOAF OF BREAD

 Rev Brian Hall

Vicar, St Andrew’s Church

 

as published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine

 

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