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Friday, December 7, 2018
Today’s Scripture Reading | Micah 5:2–4
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. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. (NRSV)
“And he shall be the one of peace.”
The word of the Lord came to Micah, and Micah shared his vision. Micah saw a broken and scattered people. He saw Jerusalem reduced to a heap of ruins and God turning his face from his people. How would God’s people recover from disaster? How could we be reconciled to God?
Salvation is coming. A ruler is coming. Security is coming. Micah describes that salvation in humble terms. This ruler isn’t coming from the city of Jerusalem. He is coming from Bethlehem, one of the little clans of Judah. Micah doesn’t describe the triumphant entry of a king. He describes the birth of a little baby. The one who is to rule in Israel isn’t coming to dominate. He will stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord.
Micah and the other prophets make it possible for us to see our salvation when it comes. Our salvation is a tiny, helpless baby born in a little town. Our salvation will bring us together and reconcile us to each other. Our ruler will be like a humble shepherd, feeding and healing and defending us as we surround him on a hillside. The next verse describes the Messiah we are longing for: “and he shall be the one of peace.”
Lord, we wait afraid in the cold and dark. We are broken and scattered. We wait for your light in cities, in the countryside, in the little town of Bethlehem. O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel. Gather us in. Amen.
Written by Gretchen Wahl, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church
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