A Little Town (07-12-20)
"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." Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labour bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be our peace… (Micah 5:2-5)
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)
We have recently reflected on Isaiah chapter 40; on the greatness of God and on our own feelings of insignificance as one of nearly eight billion people on planet earth. We might think that too of our own community ‘Can anything significant come out of my village?
The inhabitants of Bethlehem, a small village with a population of around 300 at the time Jesus was born, could have asked the same question, except for the fact that David, their greatest king, had been born in Bethlehem a thousand years earlier, and that their scriptures (our Old Testament) prophesied that his descendent, and their Messiah, would also be born in Bethlehem.
Throughout history God has chosen the foolish, the weak and the lowly to further his purposes on earth, and he does the same today. Our villages seem small compared to the major conurbations in the UK, but God is at work, and God has plans for us.
Why not pray for God’s blessing on your community, that the light of Jesus would be revealed, and that God would do something way beyond what you could imagine?
He was born in Bethlehem, the hometown of his ancestor David. David was a shepherd boy who became king. Similarly, Jesus came to ‘shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,’ bringing peace and security, and he will return as King. With clear references to his divinity, Jesus was born as one ‘whose origins are from old’ to rule ‘in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God’.
Which of these images of Jesus do you best relate to today?
How might you explore the other images as you grow in your relationship with Jesus, your shepherd king?
Lord Jesus, thank you that in you I am raised from obscurity to glory.
Help me to follow you as Shepherd and serve you as King.
O Little Town (Matt Redman)