Read today's verse.
Every story needs a setting. Think of your favorite stories . . . in most of them, the setting is often just as big a character as many of the main characters. What would The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe be without Narnia, Batman without Gotham, or the Grinch without Whoville? In the story of Christmas, the setting also carries great significance.
In this verse from Micah, Bethlehem is described as “little” (insignificant) among the thousands of Judah. Yet God chose this town as the destination for the most significant moment in the history of the universe.
Why? Wouldn’t it make more sense for our King to come out of Jerusalem, where the temple stood? Or a great Roman city, showing that He would establish His everlasting rule over all and be the great rock that would cause the kingdoms of men to fall at His feet (Daniel 2)? No. God chose the most humble of cities and the most humble woman to make His grand entrance into creation. There is a great lesson here, one that the Lord has been teaching mankind since the very beginning—God loves humility.
Consider God’s revelation to Elijah in 1 Kings 19:12. Elijah was waiting for the Lord to speak to Him. But the Lord was not in the great, strong wind, the mighty earthquake, or the raging fire. Instead, He was in the gentle, still, small breeze. And we can’t forget about David, the youngest brother, the shepherd boy, overlooked by his own father . . . who was chosen by God to be the next anointed king. Why? Because God loves those who are humble in heart, and He uses them in mighty ways. He lifts them up because they know that their greatness, accomplishments, successes, and triumphs are all for His glory and for His service.
So, it should come as no surprise that God chose to make His entrance into the world amidst the sounds of livestock and rustling hay instead of with loud trumpets, harps, and cymbals. Or that He chose to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey and proclaimed that the last would be first and the first would be last.
The Jews did not embrace or recognize Jesus as their King because He came in humbly and as a servant. They were expecting kingly robes and an extravagant crown. Instead they got a robe of righteousness and a crown of thorns.
God chooses to accomplish great things under humble conditions. This Christmas season, take some time to check the condition of your heart. Is it humble before the King?
For The Kids: Your Value Comes From Jesus.
When you think about a king, what do you imagine? Maybe you see a palace full of gold or an extravagant crown full of expensive jewels. When Jesus was born, the Jewish people didn’t think He looked like a king because He was born in a barn and dressed in rags. Instead of having servants, he was surrounded by the sounds of animals and hay. Instead of an extravagant crown, He was given a crown of thorns. Jesus came both humbly in and out of this world.
It’s important to remember that your value, and your friend’s value’s, don’t come from what you have, or how many presents you receive on Christmas morning. It comes from being a child of God—loved, forgiven, and saved by Jesus. Just like Jesus did, He wants us to love others and put them first.
Be generous to those who humbly serve—a janitor, waste collector, mail carrier, waiter/waitress, or cashier—by leaving a nice tip or note of thanks.