December 13

Micah 5:2-5a

“But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.” vs. 2

When we read the books of the prophets in our scriptures the meaning of the verses is often obscure and virtually inaccessible. But when Micah drops the name of a little village near Jerusalem into his oracle, his meaning is inescapable. Bethlehem was David’s town, and hundreds of years before he had emerged from there to become the great king of Israel. Micah believed the same thing could happen again–and a shepherd would once more be in charge. It was a nice thought, and even though David didn’t return in Micah’s day, centuries later followers of Jesus used this verse to connect Jesus to Israel’s ancient king. And when Matthew and Luke included the story in their narratives it became the gospel truth–Jesus was from Bethlehem, the city of David. It’s important to know where we’ve come from and many will share their birth stories at the drop of a hat. It’s a way of establishing an identity and provides a context for chapter one in our memoirs. It might even provide a clue for those who want to know us better. And for those who want to know Jesus, Bethlehem provides a solid reminder that he came out of humble obscurity on his journey to gentle glory.

Thought for the Day: What does my origin say about me?

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