Bethlehem or Bedlam?

When you hear the word ‘Bethlehem’, do you picture the peaceful, idylic nativity scenes on the Christmas cards?  When you hear the word ‘bedlam’, do you picture scenes of chaos, confusion, and disorganization?  The words could be used as opposite extremes.  However, the word ‘bedlam’ was actually derived from ‘Bethlehem’.

             In the 1500’s the Priory of St. Mary of Bethlehem, a London monastary serving as a hospital, became a city run insane asylum. For a small admission price, people could actually go there to heckle the inmates, and so it became a popular tourist attraction!  The name of the institution was shortened to Bethlehem, pronounced as ‘Bedlam’.  In time, the word ‘bedlam’ came to refer to the noise and confusion that symbolized the insane asylum.

              Would you define your daily life more as peacefully dwelling in Bethlehem (house of bread) with Jesus, (the Bread of life) or as rushing anxiously through the chaos and confusion of the changing demands of the voices around you?  Maybe you are caught in the clash of the spiritual warfare being waged between the forces of evil and the kingdom of righteousness.  If so, it’s time to re-focus on Him, the conquering Prince of Peace and cast on Him the heavy burdens thrust upon you and let Him give you rest.  (Matt. 11:28)

                For further meditation, consider the following study.

       Reassurance  (anchoring your growing faith)   John 6:35

       Response (picking the right pathway)  John chapter 6

       Review (staying in the ‘eye of the storm’) John 14:26&27