““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.”
Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time
when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.
He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely,
for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.”
Micah 5:2-4 NIV
I had the pleasure of being at a Christmas concert at Clarkson Road Presbyterian Church in Mississauga last night. Jacob Moon and Ali Matthews were playing. I have loved Jacob’s music for many years now. But Ali was new to me. And I adored her.
My favourite moment came when Ali sang a song a Capella called “One Small Child.” (Yes, that’s a link, check it out on YouTube!)
The song gave me chills. I reminded me of a line from the Lord of the Rings. Near the beginning of Return of the King, Gandalf says, “All our hopes rest now on two little hobbits, somewhere in the wilderness.”
Sometimes the target of our hope is small: just two little hobbits, more more than three feet tall. Or a tiny child in a land of thousands, born in an Empire backwater.
But when the aim of our hope is true, it doesn’t matter how small the target may be – wondrous things happen. In the case of the Lord of the Rings, those two small hobbits defeated Sauron, where all the armies of Middle Earth could not.
In the case of the one small child, death itself was undone by his sacrifice and sin’s power washed away in his blood.
God has a way of using what seems frightfully fragile – just a tiny human baby – to accomplish what seems immeasurably immense – the salvation of humanity.
This Advent, may you know the joy of hoping in God – who takes what is fragile and accomplished through it, that which is mighty.