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Summary: Because of the blood we have total access into His presence.

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For those not familiar with an Anglican Service; there are four Scripture Readings before the Sermon. The Scripture Readings for this day were: Micah 5: 2-5; Psalm 80:1-7; Hebrews 10:5-10 and Luke 1:39-55. (This Message was reworked December 2015).

In 1865, ...... shortly after the Civil war,.... the Pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Boston, Massachusetts., .....was helping with a Christmas Eve service ...... in Bethlehem of Judea.

He later wrote about his feelings...... as he descended from Jerusalem into Bethlehem ..... riding a horse.

He said, ......"I remember standing in the old church in Bethlehem, ..... close to the spot where Jesus was born.

The whole church was singing hour after hour .... splendid hymns of praise ....to God, .... it was as if I could hear angelic voices....... telling each other of the Wonderful Night of ...... of our dear Savior's birth."

Two years later, ...... in 1867, ...... this Pastor,.... Phillip Brooks, ......... put his pen to paper and wrote a very special ...... and very biblical song ...... that we often hear .......during the Christmas Season.

He wrote these glorious words.....

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;

The hopes and fears ...of all the years ..... are met in thee...... tonight.

Those verses .... declare the heart .... of Christmas.

It is a time of celebration, .... a time of salvation .......and a time of ......contemplation. (Pause)

The prophet Micah put his pen to paper ...... and wrote about this little town ..... of Bethlehem.

In forty brief words, ...... Micah tells the story ..... of a very special town.

Though his words may be brief, ...... they contain a wealth ......of spiritual truth.

The Story Of Bethlehem ...... is a special story that needs to be told ..... and retold.

Especially in these trying times ..... in which we live.

We are living in a day .....when the real story of the birth of Jesus ..... is lost amid the trees, ......the decorations, ...... the shopping.

And The story of Christmas ..... is also a story of a little town ...... a town ......called Bethlehem.

And the Story Of Bethlehem ..... (Slow) Is The Story .....Of A Place.

When Micah writes of Bethlehem ..... he writes about a little town ...... that will produce ..... great things.

While Bethlehem may have been a tiny hamlet, ...... it had a colorful past ...... and brilliant future.

When we think of Bethlehem, ......we often Only remember ...... that it was the birthplace ..... of our Lord.

But, ..... within history..... this little town, ...... contains a wealth of ..... spiritual truth.

The town of Bethlehem ...... is only five miles south ...... of the great city ..... of Jerusalem.

Bethlehem ....is first mentioned...... outside of the Scriptures ...... in a historical letter ...... from one of the kings of Palestine ...... to an Egyptian Pharaoh ..... in 1250 BC.

This would have been during the time ..... of the Judges.

It would seem that Bethlehem existed ... when Israel invaded ... the promised land .... of Canaan.

The name "Bethlehem" means "House of Bread".

Micah also calls it by another name "Ephratah" (F --ra --tha).

Which is an older name for the city....... And means "Place of Fruitfulness".

Bethlehem ..... the House of Fruitfulness..... the House of Bread.

How fitting .....that Jesus should be born ....in Bethlehem!

For He is the true bread....."The Bread of Life".....

The Bread of Life ...... that takes away ....the sin of the world.

Bethlehem is first mentioned in the Scriptures in Genesis ....... the first book of the Bible. (Genesis 35:16-20)

When Jacob and his family ....are journeying home to Canaan, ...... Rachel goes into labor ..... and gives birth to a son.

Rachel dies in childbirth,.... and as she is dying, she calls her son's name "Benoni" ( Ben -- O --nI), ....... which means.... "Son of my sorrow".

And Jacobs wife Rachel ..... was buried ..... just outside of Bethlehem.

Jacob changed his son's name from Benoni (Ben-O-nI) .......to "Benjamin", ....

Which means.... The "Son of my right hand".

So Bethlehem is initially associated with ......sorrow and death..... but was transformed prophetically.... knowingly or unknowingly .... into a place .....that seats the son ..... of my right hand.

Jesus too ...... took a place ...... associated with grief and suffering ..... and transformed it ...... into a place..... of strength and glory. (Pause)

Jesus was called by the Prophet Isaiah ........(Slow) "A Man of Sorrows", Isaiah 53:1-3.

The One Who created the universe ..... had nowhere .... to lay ..... His head. Matthew 8:20.

The One Who left Heaven ......to come and die .... Was rejected by the those He came to reach, John 1:11.

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