Read: Luke 2:1-7

And Joseph also went up from Galilee . . . to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem. (v. 4)

David’s story began in Bethlehem, Hebrew for “house of bread.” It started when the person who became his great-great-grandmother decided to move to Bethlehem with her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi. We thought a bit about her story earlier this month. Ruth was from Moab, had married one of Naomi’s sons, but then became a widow herself. Faced with the choice of staying in Moab or accompanying her mother-in-law back to Israel, Ruth elected to stick with Naomi.

They moved to the “house of bread,” even though they had no bread and had precious little prospects to survive in any event. Two women unattached from any men back in that day made Naomi and Ruth powerfully vulnerable to all kinds of exploitation and abuse. If someone did not do what God’s law commanded and give widows like them some extra special care, the likelihood of their starving in the “house of bread” was pretty high.

A man named Boaz came through for God and so saved the lives of these women (and then married Ruth, too). He made sure Ruth not only got to glean grain from his fields but had extra grain with which to make bread. There in Bethlehem a faithful man provided bread for two hungry, vulnerable women. It would not be the last time that out of Bethlehem there would come one who would become the very bread of life for many needy people. —Scott Hoezee

Prayer: Break now the bread of life, O Lord our God. Amen.