It is a tradition of the Apex Lions Club to invite a local pastor to be our guest speaker for the meeting prior to Christmas each year. This year Lion Charles Livengood invited his pastor Dr. David Vess from Swift Creek Baptist Church. The message was taken from Micah 5:2 which reads: “Bethlehem Ephrathah,
you are small among the clans of Judah; One will come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me. His origin is from antiquity, from eternity.” Pastor David taught us many interesting things about the town of Bethlehem Ephrathah which, of course, was the birth place of the Lord Jesus Christ. Bethlehem was full of history having been the place where Ruth met Boaz, where Jessie (father of David) was born, where David was born to name just a few instances of historical significance. It was also where the prophesy of the messiah was fulfilled. That prophesy had been made some 750 years prior to the birth of Jesus. And, it was represents some of the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Note that there are actually two names given: Bethlehem and Ephrathah. Bethlehem. The name “Bethlehem” means “House of Bread” and the name “Ephrathah” means “fruitful” or can also mean “wine”. These, of course, are two very familiar symbols to Christians referenced, for example in Matthew 26:26-28 which says: “As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is My body.” Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
As we celebrate Christmas this year, let us all remember the little town of Bethlehem Ephrathah and the precious baby whose birth we celebrate on Christmas day.