Hymn 86, O Little Town of Bethlehem
Out of you will come … one who will be the ruler over Israel. Micah 5:2 NIV
Where did you grow up? What is it most known for? Growing up in Round Rock, Texas, our little town was most known for doughnuts. Those mysterious orange, butter-filled, sugar-glazed ovals of goodness have made Round Rock famous for decades. Today, Round Rock is home to Dell Computers, a minor-league baseball team, and over 100,000 residents. In 40 years, it has transformed from a small bedroom community to its own self-contained suburban city.
Bethlehem of Judea was not even known for its doughnuts. In fact, centuries before the birth of Christ, it was not even mentioned in various lists of clans and where they lived (see Joshua 15 or Nehemiah 11). Situated just five miles from the city of Jerusalem it was overlooked. The town was insignificant—until the Messiah was born there.
When driving through towns today, there are often signs near the city limits welcoming you and pointing out someone famous who is from there. Driving north through Hearne, you will notice that NFL Hall of Famer John Randle grew up there. San Benito, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley, boasts country music and Latino legend Freddy Fender as a native son. Wink, Texas, otherwise a small dot on the map in the middle of West Texas, is known as the boyhood home of Roy Orbison. What makes a place known? The people who live there and achieve greatness.
Chances are, there is no sign outside your hometown letting people know you are a famous son or daughter who once called that place home. Our purpose as Christ’s followers is not to make a place known, but to make Him known by how we live and the words we say. What will YOU do during this season of Advent to point others to Jesus Christ and make His name known?
Dr. Clay Hopkins