Choir Notes

The Way to Bethlehem
From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4394

At this time of year, people all over the world turn their thoughts to Bethlehem, as did the shepherds of so long ago when they declared, “Let us now go . . . unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass” (Luke 2:15). 

The ancient city of Bethlehem is located along an old caravan route a few miles southwest of Jerusalem. It was known as the City of David because it was there that the prophet Samuel anointed young David to be the king of Israel (see 1 Samuel 16:1–13). Today it is known as the long-foretold birthplace of the King of kings, Jesus Christ. It has been referred to as a “little town,” and indeed it was 2,000 years ago. But from small things very often comes that which is great—“the hinge of history,” one writer observed, “is on the door of a Bethlehem stable.” 

Traveling to Bethlehem today would be a long and costly journey for most of us. Few are fortunate enough to go there; most of us will never see it in person. Nonetheless, our hearts and our actions can take us to Bethlehem every day. And very often the journey may be as important as the actual destination. 

The way to Bethlehem—and to the King who was born there—is marked by good thoughts and good deeds. We go to Bethlehem every time we turn the other cheek and respond with kindness instead of anger; we journey to Bethlehem when we open our hearts to others and let them into our lives—even when it’s inconvenient or difficult; we travel to Bethlehem as we set aside selfish pursuits and focus our thoughts and energies on the things that matter most; and we go to Bethlehem as we hold on to hope in the face of discouragement and tribulation. 

The journey to Bethlehem is not just for a day or even a special season of the year. Truly, it is the journey of a lifetime. 

1 Ralph Sockman, in Spencer W. Kimball, “Why Call Me Lord, Lord, and Do Not the Things Which I Say?” Ensign, May 1975, 4.

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