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. Micah 5: 2
This morning our alarm clock woke us to the sounds of “O Little Town of Bethlehem”. What a nice way to begin the day with one of my favorite Christmas songs. But then I love them all! I listened to the words and the last verse especially made me think about the blessing of His presence with us.
“O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray. Cast out our sins and enter in. Be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels. The great glad tidings tell. O come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel.”
What a gift to have His presence with us. “Descend to us. Cast out our sin and enter in. Be born in us. O come to us, abide with us, Emmanuel”.
God is with us. He comes to us when we seek Him with our hearts. He lives in us. What a gift of His love and grace.
In the same way, God’s wondrous gift of His Son quietly and unassumingly came to Bethlehem, He comes to us. He comes because of His overwhelming love for us and He comes to show us the way and to give us abundant life. God chose His Son to come as a weak and frail infant, and not as a powerful king who was coming in power or in might. God has no desire to bestow His blessings of salvation on us on the basis of our greatness, merit, wealth, or on our achievements. He gives His grace to us out of His tender love and mercy when we humbly come to Him. And when He does, we see His power and His glory.
Still, we may wonder why God sent His Son to the little town of Bethlehem. But just as He chose Mary and Joseph of humble background, God desired the same for the town in which Jesus would be born. His plan was for a place that was small, quiet, and out of the way, It was just a few miles south of Jerusalem and one in which no one ever imagined that the Son of God would come. Yet, God chose this small town to be the birthplace of Jesus, as announced by the prophet Micah, 7 centuries before Christ was born in Bethlehem, and there God came to earth, and changed the course of history for all eternity.
The good news of great joy is that God has come to be with us. He watches over us with His sovereign, all consuming, and everlasting love.
Our most gracious and loving God, we thank you for the gift of your Son who was born in Bethlehem. Thank you for coming to us with your abiding love and Spirit and for keeping us in your care. Amen