Christmas

This devotional is written by Marina Johnson. 

Micah 5:2-5

2 "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."

3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.

4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.

5 And he will be our peace when the Assyrians invade our land and march through our fortresses. We will raise against them seven shepherds, even eight commanders,

Reflection

It's always more dramatic when celebrities and athletes rise to fame from humble beginnings, and Jesus is no different. When Micah foretold the birthplace of Mary's baby boy, he emphasised how insignificant and small the town was to the rest of the world. O little town of Bethlehem Ephratah, (literally meaning the fruitful House of Bread) was the place that supplied bread to Jerusalem. It's only claim to fame was that it was the birthplace of King David but other than that, in worldly terms, it was small in size with an insignificant population. This wasn't exactly the Hollywood of Christendom.

But 700 years after Micah's prediction, from this little village is born a mighty ruler; a leader and peacemaker who will shepherd Israel and ultimately rule the world. We see that Jesus was neither born where we'd expect nor to whom we'd expect. His parents were unmarried travellers in probably the 1st century equivalent of Milton Keynes. From the tiny and unassuming "House of Bread" is born "The Bread of Life". The bringer of peace between God and man who comes to stand and guard his flock on every side (v4-5).

The old biblical pattern doesn't let us down here: God uses the most unlikely, the most insignificant, for great things and as instruments of his salvation. We see humility revealing glory. It is not the way of the world, but it is the way God works, over and over again. Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Saviour, spend some time today considering where you can humbly obey God TODAY.

Pray Lord, open my eyes and my heart to the gifts and the calling that you've given me uniquely, that I can share them lovingly and humbly with others for your glory.


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