Bethlehem was, is, and likely always will be, just a small town — a small town steeped in ancient history.
In the first century, the historical marker at the center of town — if they posted such historical markers — would have commemorated it as the birthplace of the mighty giant killer, King David. The cherished son of Bethlehem put the town on the map 1,000 years earlier, and perhaps, perhaps, one day the village on top of the quiet hill will pull off the feat again. Dusty scrolls left by ancient prophets told of such a thing (Micah 5:2).
But tonight, silence.
The prophecies are distant memories. All is now hushed and quiet, the hope of a king only a memory muffled by the pressing priorities of life: raising grain, raising sheep, raising children, and paying taxes.
But this night the town finally sleeps, though crowded. The hustle and bustle of census travelers, returned home to be counted, now has dissipated.
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie.
So quiet and still and peaceful is the town, it’s hard to capture on a blog, a place where most of us read so quickly. So imagine for a moment a slower pace and quieter place.