“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
Little Town of Bethlehem
Bethlehem wasn’t an impressive town. At the time of Micah’s prophecy there were maybe just a few hundred people living there. The last time it had made headlines was almost 300 years before Micah, when King David was born there. Bethlehem wouldn’t have made anyone’s wish list of must-see places to visit. Bethlehem didn’t seem important. Yet God gave the highest honor to this town of being the birthplace of our Savior. Near this town angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest.”
This is often how God chooses to work. He finds the things that are small, quiet, and out of the way and gives to them great honor. He chose small Bethlehem to be the birthplace of his Son so that no one could point to any human achievement as the reason for his birth. Instead, it was only God’s free and undeserved grace that gave Bethlehem such importance.
Today, in the town of David, God gives his gift of love to you. It is not based on anything you have done, how valuable you are to other people, or how much honor the world gives. God gives his gift of love to those who do not deserve it or who feel too small, insignificant, and unnoticed to matter. To them God bestows his greatest honor. God has given you Jesus as your Savior because you are important to him. Glory to God in the highest!
May God bless your worship of the newborn King, especially as you invite someone to join you in Bethlehem to hear the angel announce, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12).
Heavenly Father, on this Christmas Eve bless us as we gather to worship you in Bethlehem. Send your Holy Spirit upon those who may be hearing the good news of Christmas for the very first time. Amen.
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