Bethlehem shares breaking news
By Randy Garrison
Words from Casting Crowns’ “While You Were Sleeping” share what happened in Bethlehem that night more than 2,000 years ago. The lyrics note:
“A giant star lights up the sky
And while you’re lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleepin‘ in a manger tonight, tonight
Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleepin‘
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King.”
The lyrics go on to lament “there was no room for Him in the world He came to save.”
The words below share what might have been reported had there been someone covering the event who interviewed the shepherds:
With so many in town for the census, the crowds have been unreal. “No room at the inn” has been heard by so many who have come to register.
It had been reported that folks might even have to spend the night in stables.
One young couple came into town with the very pregnant woman riding on a donkey. She looked as if she might deliver at any moment. Unfortunately, they were also told there was no place to lay their heads.
Soon after, the sound of a newborn baby crying could be heard from one of the nearby stables, which is really just a dark, dreary hole in a cave.
On a cold winter’s night – what a hard time to bring a baby into the world.
One would think all of the folks in town for the census, the large crowd, would be the headline as the biggest story of the night – but then several amazing things began to happen.
No sooner had the sound of a baby crying been heard than suddenly a star began to shine brightly over the town of Bethlehem and especially right over the stable. It almost seemed to be pointing out the location to anyone who might be looking for the family.
What a night this is turning out to be. Out of nowhere, a group of shepherds has been seen running into town. When questioned about why they were so excited, here is what they had to say:
“We were out in fields watching the sheep when suddenly an angel appeared before us. Scared us half to death, but the first words he said were, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’
“Just when our hearts started beating again, suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.’”
Now the talk of a Messiah has been passed down from generation to generation, and the shepherds all hurried into town to see Him and share with all the townspeople what we had been told.
Nothing like this has ever happened in Bethlehem. They found the baby lying in the manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes, just as the angels had shared.
This has got to be the biggest thing to ever happen in Bethlehem. This is bound to be a life–changing event, one that will never be forgotten.
“Talk on the streets is that God’s own son was born tonight, in the City of David,” said the shepherds.
This was proclaimed many years ago by the prophet Isaiah. “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call Him Immanuel.” —Isaiah 7:14
Love came down at Christmas and gave us the best gift of all: salvation for all and eternal life in glory for those who believe.