If you are reading this December 2 or after, Happy Advent! What an awesome time of year. Advent is the season where we prepare for the birth of Jesus. You can think of it as a giant birthday party for Jesus, and we’re all invited! That reminds me of a question from one of our Sunday School classes. The kids ask: Where was Jesus born? Great question!
We celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25. That’s Christmas! This answers when we celebrate, but our smart Sunday School children want to know where he was born. How do we answer that? If you said that we look to the Bible, you’re right. The Bible tells us all we need to know. Matthew and Luke talk about Jesus’ birth. We read in Luke that Joseph and Mary were living in Nazareth, but had to return to Joseph’s hometown of Bethlehem to be counted by the government in a process called a census. While they were in Bethlehem, Jesus was born.
Here’s something really cool. Bethlehem is called the city of David. You might remember David when he was a boy and fought a giant named Goliath. David grew up to be a king one thousand years before Jesus lived. He was also a relative of Joseph. So, Jesus was considered to be from the “House of David,” meaning he was a relative of David. This was predicted, or “prophesied” in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).
Ask your parents, older brothers or sisters, or your grandparents to help you find Bethlehem on a map. It’s in the country of Israel. Bethlehem is 5,904 miles from McLean. If you took a plane from Washington, it would take you about 15 hours to fly to Tel Aviv, then you’d still have to drive another 36 miles to get to Bethlehem. Although Jesus’ place of birth is far away from us, his love is as close as our heart. As we celebrate with gifts on Christmas day, let’s also remember the greatest gift of all: Jesus.
Merry Christmas and remember our motto: Paws for Jesus!