ADVENT: THE CHILD OF BETHLEHEM
Born and raised in Bethlehem, Grace calls herself a “true Bethlehemite.” She teaches at Bethlehem Bible College and serves her local church. Faced with the sad reality that the Holy Land’s Christian population has fallen to just one per cent, Grace is filled with the hope that Jesus will one day restore His Church in the region:
I find it fascinating that the Christmas story took place in my precious home town. Today in Bethlehem, as Christianity continues to dwindle here, we continue to trust that the Lord will not leave Himself without a witness in this land.
This year, my little niece will play the role of Mary, mother of Jesus, in our church’s nativity play. As we watch the other children join her as shepherds, wise men and angels, our hearts will be strengthened to know that Christianity still remains the heartbeat of this region, despite its decreasing percentage. May these little hearts taking part in the Christmas play help us understand the depth and width of God’s love to humanity in sending Jesus as a newborn baby, God in flesh, to dwell in our midst.
As we await a brighter future for all Christians of the Middle East, where we can live in peace and dignity, we are reminded through the Christmas story that He promises never to leave us. Creation groans around us, but we will continue to have faith and live our Christianity the way Jesus has taught us: prayerfully, humbly, passionately, and lovingly. We know that He is not slow to answer our prayers – that ultimately His church will draw closer to Him.
May this time of Advent be a time of waiting to see the Lord’s promises fulfilled. May all eyes turn to Him. May Christians in their different contexts continue to be a living witness to our faith in this very land where Christianity was birthed in the form of a babe: “O come let us adore Him.”
- Thank God for Grace and Christians like her in Bethlehem, and ask God to bless them and their church activities this Christmas.
- Pray that the Church will grow and flourish in the Middle East. Praise God that SAT-7 is part of this mission.