Summary: "Bethlehem" means "house of bread", reminding us that Jesus is the Bread of Life.
BETHLEHEM - THE HOUSE OF BREAD
One of my favourite carols is "O little town of Bethlehem". Do you know what happened there? It’s where Jesus was born - a town not far from Jerusalem. And do you know what "Bethlehem" means? It’s "the house of bread".
Jesus was born in Bethlehem - in a stable. It’s like saying that Jesus was born in a shed at the back of our local bakery. He was placed in a manger - a food trough. This reminds me of why He came into the world. He said "I am the bread of life" (John 6:35). At Christmas we’ll be having all kinds of good food - cakes and mince pies - but we can’t do without our daily bread. Why? Because it satisfies our deepest hunger. And that’s what Jesus does for the world.
In many of our homes there’s a beautiful Christmas tree decorated with gifts. Of course the are nice to have, but you can’t eat them. If you didn’t have real food to eat you would starve and die. God has given us many gifts - our homes and families - but the best gift of all is His Son. Jesus told the people who were listening to him that "He who comes to me will never go hungry", He came to the Earth so that we could receive eternal life by trusting in Him, and that’s why He gave His life on the cross.
So do remember the meaning of Bethlehem - the house of bread, and God’s gift of His Son - the bread of life.