But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. (Micah 5:2)

The story of humanity points to Bethlehem—The focal point of history is Bethlehem. Everything in the Scriptures points to Bethlehem. In this Christmas season the prophet brings out the amazing and marvelous character of the season, a babe born in a manger in this little out of the way town—Bethlehem. But how do we respond to the Christmas season, to this incredible birth? Do we marvel at it? Are we amazed by it? Often, we are distracted by many other messages during this time.

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 days.

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 telling each other of the Wonderful Night 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 sing during the Christmas Season. “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. 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. Join us this week at Sedona United Methodist Church as we begin our journey to Christmas and the Rev. Fred Mast brings a special advent message entitled, “Come Let Us Adore Him”.

Sunday mornings we enter the spirit of worship at 9:30 a.m. featuring meaningful times of prayer, joyous music, and life messages that will help move you closer in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Our worship is upbeat and lively, and spirit filled! Immediately following worship, you are encouraged and invited to stay and join us in our Fellowship Hall for the friendliest and best fellowship time anywhere!

ALL are invited to join in our Advent Study entitled, “Incarnation” where we will rediscover the significance of Christmas. We will meet Tuesday mornings beginning November 30th at 10:00 am at the church (110 Indian Cliffs Rd.) in our Fellowship Hall. The entire community is welcome and invited—Please Call the church office for more details (928)282-1780.

So many great missions, ministries and events happening at Sedona UMC—Visit our website at us on www.sedonaumc.org  and “Like” us on Facebook.  We would love to pray for you!—Prayer requests may be submitted online or by calling us at 928-282-1780.  We are conveniently located at 110 Indian Cliffs Road off the Back O’Beyond roundabout on Route 179 in Sedona. All are welcome at Sedona UMC—Come and grow with us!