I was just thinking today about how many things had to fall into place to put Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem at the right time. When Micah declared these words, did he realize he was predicting the birthplace of the Messiah hundreds of years later? What a marvelous orchestrator God is! How can we ever doubt him!
The promised eternal king in David’s line would come to live as a man. He will “stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.” This prophecy was referred to by Herod’s advisors when he was greeted by the wise men of the east after Jesus’ birth. This small, obscure little town has made history and will forever have a place on the map!
The book of Micah holds a special place in my heart. When I was first dating my husband, David, he shared with me his doctoral dissertation, a published book on the book of Micah. What a work of genius! I tried reading it and soon realized that David’s level of academia far exceeded mine. To this day, I still haven’t finished reading his book! You’ll have to ask him about it sometime. I know our daughter was thrilled to find it on the library shelf of his alma mater in Virginia.
As you remember Bethlehem, you’re probably humming the tune of the Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” just like I am. It’s a peaceful little song with some great lyrics. “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” That line says, all the years, and I realize as I’m wearing my “Advent lenses” we should focus on how our everything started that night in Bethlehem.
The “everlasting light” was born and continues to burn in each of our hearts. Jesus came to this place in the world to fulfill Micah’s prophecy of hope and peace. But that was just the beginning of Jesus’ reign. He continues to be our “source of peace.” I long for the day when he will be “highly honored around the world.” I feel like the enemy is keeping us from truly experiencing the abundance of peace and joy God desires for us.
Just yesterday, I had a profound experience with another song of the season. One of my favorite Christmas CDs is Casting Crowns’ “Peace on Earth” album. Have you ever listened closely to the words of the song, “While You Were Sleeping”? Grab some tissue and be convicted. What an Advent message! Listen here.
I don’t want to miss out on the blessings Jesus promises. I don’t want to miss out on every opportunity I have to worship the king. I don’t want to let the world forget. Ever! We need to make room for our king!
Bethlehem may have been the beginning of Jesus’ life as a human, but he has always been and will always be. He is coming again, and I don’t want to be sleeping. My eyes are wide open.
Let’s pray. I don’t want to be asleep and miss any opportunity to worship and adore you, King Jesus. I cherish your humble beginnings and how it was foretold. I long for the day when you return and receive the honor you are due. Help me be ready. Use me to make a difference in this world to help others stay awake and be aware. I love you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.