But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.
Micah 5:2 NLT
I’m a short girl. I claim to be five-foot-nothin’…but I haven’t actually measured myself or been measured in years and years. So I don’t really know – I just feel like 5″0′ sounds like a nice round number. The point is – I’m short. I have trouble reaching things on store shelves and nearly every pair of pants I’ve ever owned has needed to be hemmed. I’m small.
But the story Jesus is writing in my life is that small though I may be, I am not insignificant. He has gifted me to do a good work in this corner of His Kingdom. To speak words of hope and peace. To teach the ways of love and joy. To encourage the light to shine in the lives of others.
God has a way of using what may be small to do what is huge. That is what the coming of the Messiah as a tiny baby is all about: that which seems helpless and weak becomes capable and strong – able to accomplish our salvation and break the bonds of sin and death forever.
In God’s hands, a shepherd boy slays a giant, a group of unschooled fishermen change the world and a young unwed girl from a tiny town bears the son of God.
Whether he fully understood it or not, the prophet Micah underscored this theme when he wrote that from the small town of Bethlehem – least among the cities of Judah – would come the ruler of Israel. In fact, not just the ruler of Israel, but the One who is Lord over all.
Never underestimate what God can do with what may seem small or insignificant to human understanding. May you, whenever you feel small or insignificant, find your hope in remembering that the Living God of the Universe came as a tiny helpless babe. May you find your hope in remembering Bethlehem – the tiny town from which came the Lord of all.
This is the Christmas tree in Manger Square, Bethlehem, December 2013.