The Birthday Of A King

The esteemed hospital is the birthplace of Roger Bannister (the first runner to break the 4-minute mile barrier), musician Elvis Costello, actor Kiefer Sutherland, and Nobel Prize winner Rodney Porter. Penicillin, the antibiotic which has saved millions of lives, was also discovered there.

What better place to be born than a hospital as prestigious as this?

So, in order to ensure that the future king of England would be given the best medical care possible, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, the son of Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales was born on June 21, 1982 at St. Mary’s Hospital. With a birth as important as this, you wouldn’t want to take any chances.

How different was the birth of Jesus.

Contrary to many sentimental Christmas songs of our day, Jesus was likely born in a cave, not a stable. Back in the day, people didn’t understand the danger of germs and bacteria, so no one made any precautions to wash their hands before handling a newborn. Under modern conditions, the health department would shutter the dusty, grimy cave. Then, Jesus was placed in a manger—a feeding trough for sheep and cattle.

Quite in inauspicious beginning for a king! Imagine the vulnerability of a little baby lying in a manger in a cave.

Interestingly enough, the prophet Zechariah not only foretold the coming king, but even called him by name.

Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak. Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord. It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.”
Zechariah 6:11–13 (italics added)

If you’re a little rusty on your Hebrew like me, the Hebrew name Joshua is translated Jesu in Greek and Jesus in English.

Two thousand years ago, the king of the universe ruled the earth from a manger for his throne and a cave for his palace. His royal robe consisted of strips of cloth.

As I envision that night, the old song “Birthday Of A King” comes to mind. The rendition of the song in the video above is sung by the late Judy Garland. The lyrics are given below:

In the little village of Bethlehem,
There lay a child one day,
And the sky was bright,
With a holy light,
O’er the place where Jesus lay.

O how the angels sang!
How it rang!
And the sky was bright,
With a holy light,
‘Twas the birthday of a King.

Humble birthplace,
But O! How much God gave to us that day!
From the manger bed what a path has led,
What a perfect holy way.

O how the angels sang!
How it rang!
And the sky was bright,
With a Holy light,
‘Twas the birthday of a King.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

If you don’t have plans for Christmas Eve and you live in the Denver, Colorado area, please join Michael and Eugene at The Neighborhood Church. For more information click here.


Zechariah 6:1-7:14
Revelation 15:1-8
Psalm 143:1-12
Proverbs 30:24-28

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Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church with Eugene Scott in Littleton, Colorado.

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