His Life Altering Presence
Written by: Glenndia Thompson
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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
Seven hundred years before it happened the Prophet Micah predicted the city where the Messiah would be born. Micah’s words do not hide Bethlehem’s low societal status. Jesus came first in humility; born in modest Bethlehem and died an ignoble death in Jerusalem. He was a servant even to those society viewed irrelevant. Seeing the weakest, He knew their need. Our greatest need before God is spiritual, not physical. No matter one's status or rank, Jesus wants to walk with you. We needed a Savior before we needed a King (see Hebrews 9:28).
For Christians, when we look back on Christ’s birth it’s the most important event in our history. Yet, the first Christmas was most likely a day just like any other for the vast majority of people living close to His birth. This might seem odd to us who have celebrated Christmas every year of our lives.
Still, Bethlehem is the kind of setting where the beginning of the Gospel takes place. Not with an ovation, but in a quiet, simple, even normal action. Jesus came from Heaven to be on our level. When we read Scripture, it’s hard not to add the sparkle and flair that one connects to the Savior. In reality, He did not live in a fairytale.
God could have introduced His Son into this world with a cadenza of musical instruments and angelic figures witnessed by the entire globe. Instead, He chose only a few shepherds to receive the angel’s invitation. The simplicity of Christ’s birth is in and of itself an example of how God works in our world frequently - through the simple, mundane, and normal - and yet what makes those things extraordinary is the presence of God with us.
Christmas reminds us that our greatest need before God is a heart that loves Him and follows Him. No matter your location, economic status, or societal rank, God’s presence in your heart is life-altering.
Tonight as I am preparing for bed, I am thinking about the fact that a Savior had been promised to God's people for centuries. They assumed He would be a warrior, the mighty Savior. They longed and prayed for the rescue, then on the right day, at the right place, and at the right time... Jesus came. He came as the perfect man and our one true living God, showing us what true humanity is. He is our humble Savior, a warrior for peace. God may not move at the time we feel He needs to but make NO mistake, He will on His time. He will move exactly the way we need it.
1. Have you thought about how relatable Jesus’ birth is?
2. Consider all the small places where God could be working and moving, around you. Are you recognizing His hand at work in your life even while others may not notice?
Thank You for Your unconditional love. Thank You for sending Your Son, our Messiah. Love brought Jesus to earth and love brings us to You. May we always remember that Jesus loves us more than we can imagine and during this holiday season, may we display that same love to others. We praise You for the Word made flesh in a little child. We behold His glory. Thank You for our perfect gift. In Jesus’ powerful, mighty Name we pray, Amen.
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