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Advent 2014: It all began in Bethlehem

Meg Chaney

Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; One will come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me. His origin is from antiquity, from eternity.
— Micah 5:2, HCSB

Long before the Christ child's arrival, the prophet Micah wrote about His birth. And yet, still, many people refused to see it for what it was. They didn't understand how the Son of God would be born in such an insignificant town. They imagined someplace far greater for their coming King. Far more opulent and spectacular. They forgot the very words that were prophesied so specifically, long before Jesus was born. 

They missed it, right when it was right in front of them. Oh how I'd love to go back to that point in history, and experience the birth of Jesus. To hear the angels sing in the sky up above. To visit the baby in the manger, yet so small and weak, tucked up against his mother's breast. To be amazed that one so small would do so much for us one day. To hear the sounds, smell the scents, experience the whole thing first hand. Such a wondrous thing took place on an evening that probably felt normal and mundane to most. While the town was jam-packed with visitors for the census, a husband and wife huddled in a stable, wondering over the face of the tiny Christ-child. I'm sure he looked, sounded, and smelled like most newborn babies, but they knew that He was meant for so much more. Can you imagine being there? How amazing would that be?

And it all began in Bethlehem.

Micah goes on to describe what this Messiah will do for the Jewish people. The freedom they'll find through Him:

He will stand and shepherd them in the strength of Yahweh, in the majestic name of the Yahweh His God. They will live securely, for then His greatness will extend to the ends of the earth. He will be their peace
— Micah 5:4-5a

Isn't that a beautiful promise? It's so wondrous that a baby, once so small, would eventually do all this for His people. That He would shepherd and guide all of us. This world is full of so many trials and hardships, it's wonderful remembering all the Christ does and will continue to do for us, as His grafted in family. A tiny child grew up to save us all from a life of sin and death. As his children we're protected, we really have nothing to fear. We are held in His arms each and every day of this life. His greatness has no bounds, no end. He is our ultimate source of peace. We have no need of anything else. 

These are truly words I needed to be reminded of today. There truths I grew up with, have heard all along. But sometimes, I start to forget. I get caught up in life and it's trials, it's burdens. It's easy to hold on to those burdens, to try to make things work, to try to explain things, or fix things on my own. Sometimes I need the reminder of Him being my peace. Of Him being my shepherd, my king. That He can handle today and every day. I'm protected. I'm secure. I have peace through Him.

And it all began in Bethlehem.