December 2, 2009
Day 4 – O Little Town of Bethlehem
Scripture: Micah 5:2
The prophet Micah, a contemporary of Isaiah, brought both bad news and news that gave hope to God’s people. God had promised that there would always be one from the line of David to sit upon the throne and Micah tells the people of that one to come, one who would not come from the royal city of Jerusalem, but have humble beginnings in the little town of Bethlehem.
The world into which the baby Jesus, the promised Messiah, came was a world of chaos and confusion. It was a world in which God’s people had turned from Him and were stumbling in a world of darkness. Today, as well, we experience chaos and confusion and many do not know that the baby Jesus is indeed the promised Messiah. Some of us wander away from God, seeking to find our own way in the darkness.
Words to ponder: O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin 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.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas all over town--everywhere except our house. I had Dellora get the boxes of Christmas things out of the attic today, but ran out of energy before I did anything with them. After I finish Sunday's bulletin in the morning, I plan to swap the everyday dishes for the Christmas ones, take a peek in the boxes and hang the wreath on the front door. That will at least get things started. Tom has already started the Christmas music.
Some of you were reading last year when I wrote of buying a tablecloth during the after Christmas sales. The short story is that I found it in the store, but didn't immediately put it in my cart because I had real concerns that I would not be here this year. It's a cloth that will fit our table with all three leaves--still not enough room for our family of soon to be 14 when we're all together. I kept going back to look at the tablecloth and finally decided as I put the cloth in my shopping cart that it would be a symbol of hope for me. I said I had hope, but wasn't acting like it. God can and does work miracles. Hope is not wishful thinking for the believer; it is expectation; it is trust in the One who is HOPE. I smiled as I put the cloth on the table for Thanksgiving, and I smiled even more when the nine of us who live here gathered round to enjoy our Thanksgiving feast. Who knew that something as simple as a tablecloth could have such meaning?
May the hope of Jesus bring peace, joy and love to your lives!