Twenty-second Day of Advent
Micah 5:2-4 (ESV)
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.
Unsuspecting. Humble. Small. Modest. Undistinguished. Ignoble.
The world could use any or all of these words to describe the birth and life of Jesus Christ. Think about it. He was born in Bethlehem…a shepherd’s town. He was born in a manger…not even your grandpa’s barn. He is compared to a shepherd…not exactly a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. His triumphal entry was made on a donkey….not quite Aladdin’s entrance to meet Jasmine. It’s really no wonder so many people missed the boat. They were looking for someone born of a king in a palace and introduced to the world with fanfare and fireworks.
And don’t we often make the same mistake? I so often look for God to speak in a billboard or a red-lettered memo or in a sermon where the Pastor says, “Tiffini, this is for you.” But instead I most often FIND God in whispers and worship songs and friends’ encouragement.
The world missed His birth because it looked too lowly to be the Messiah. They missed His life because He laid His head in the homes of acquaintances. They missed His death because it was no different than a criminal’s. The Old Testament is fraught with prophecies and don’t-miss-what-I’m-about-to-do warnings of how Jesus would come not from “just a carpenter” but from the lineage of King David, how He would not have a home but that His home was the place God intended for Him to spread the Gospel message, how He would not die as a criminal but as a sacrificial lamb for the atonement of the world’s sins.
So this Christmas I will choose to look for Jesus Christ not in extravagant department store displays or grand parades with blimps of every imaginable character. I will instead look for Him in my heart, in my children’s hearts, in the sweet words of an Advent devotional book, under the tree in a bed made of straw with the eyes of the shepherds upon Him. And my guess is that I will use different words to describe what I find….
Wonderful Counselor. Mighty God. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace.
Re: Verse reading – John 6:25-51