Micah 5:2 2 “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. “
Since we get so enthralled with the newest/biggest/loudest (and this spills over into our spiritual lives), we find it intensely difficult to wait, to settle for less, or to find beauty in the small, slow, or seemingly insignificant things, places, or people.
But here in Micah’s prophecy, we read a clue that this is exactly what people were to expect in the coming Messiah. And later in the gospels, we learn that Jesus was indeed born into the most humble of parents and circumstances. Not what people expected.
And so, while his deeds and words revealed truth and power, many rejected him outright; while others, eventually.
The Christmas hymn/carol ‘O Little town of Bethlehem’, along with the “kenosis” (self-emptying) passage in Paul’s letter to the Philippians (2:5-11) should remind us that beauty, majesty, and royalty can and does indeed come from something small and unexpected.
From the bumble podunk village of Bethlehem (which literally translates from the Hebrew as “house of bread”) bursts forth the royal one himself; Jesus the Messiah, the ruler, the eternal one from everlasting.
And our Jesus, who self-identifies himself as THE “bread of life” (Jn 6:35), who was born in that Bethlehem (that “house of bread”), offers you and me not a small morsel of bread crumb, but instead offers himself fully; broken on the cross, and then resurrected as our glorious ruler and king.
Not what anyone expected, but exactly what everyone needs and, deep down, longs for.