2011-11-27: Learning From the Songs of Christmas – O Little Town of Bethlehem

Sermon: O Little Town of Bethlehem
Speaker: Pastor John Pettigrew
Scripture Text: Micah 5:1-5
Duration: 23:50
Size: 10.9 MB

Learning From the Songs of Christmas
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Micah 5:1-5

1. Christ’s birth was according to a divine plan. (Micah 5:1-3a)

A. The Savior would be born in an unassuming way. (Micah 5:1-2a)

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

Jesus was born in Bethlehem. (Matthew 2:1-6)

It may be that our part in life’s work may be very small… on note… but even that is important.

The problem with too many of us, as Vance Havner observed, is “So many of us are not big enough to become little enough to be used of God.”

B. The Second part of God’s plan: The Savior would be born in an unusual way. (Micah 5:2b-3)

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth

When Christ became a man through the incarnation, he voluntarily limited what to him was the most precious thing in the world; unhampered, unhindered communion with the Father.

2. The second great thing about Christ’s birth is: Christ’s birth makes possible a new person. (Micah 5:3-5a)

A. First, we can become a new person individually.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may his His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

The prophet speaks of the benefits that come to the life of one who has received Christ into their life.

  • He will benefit from God’s guidance. (Micah 5:4a, Psalm 23)
  • He will benefit from God’s greatness. (Micah 5:4b, Romans 8:35…39)
  • He will benefit from God’s goodness. (Micah 5:5a)
  • He enjoys peace with God (Romans 5:1), He enjoys the peace of God (Philippians 4:6-7), He enjoys the God of peace (Micah 5:5a).

Perhaps the very best place for those dreams was on the rubbish pile, for God may have better plans for you after all. He will bring them to pass through His own Son, who gives you, in your entirely new life, dreams and plans fashioned in a much better way than you could do for yourself.

B. We can become a new person collectively. (Micah 5:3-5a)

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

There are many porcupine Christians running around. They have their good points, but you can’t get near them because their bad point prick too hard.

The devil never fears a congregation that is not seeking to become the new person collectively that God calls them to be, because they are no threat to his operation! Let’s put the fear of God into the devil, by committing today to growing in unity and love as the people of God!


Having trusted the Savior, we have been set free from sins’ awful condemnation. Now by His Spirit we have the power to turn from our sin and live for Him. That’s the only way to honor Christ – our Great Emancipator.

I’m glad my Savior didn’t hesitate to leave His throne in glory! Christ did not hesitate to die for me; may I not hesitate to live for Him!