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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Today’s Reading | Micah 5:2–4

But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
   who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
   one who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
   from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
   when she who is in labor has brought forth;
then the rest of his kindred shall return
   to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,
   in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great
   to the ends of the earth. (NRSV)

Advent is upon us and the familiar sight of manger scenes are popping up. There are hand-carved wood sets, painted clay Guatemalan sets, elegant porcelain sets, sets handed down in families and bringing back childhood memories, reminding us of the family members who came before us. They are beautiful in their variety but so commonplace that we don't really contemplate the significance of Jesus' humble birth which they portray.

Today's passage reminds us, “As for you, Bethlehem, though you are the least significant of Judah's forces, one who is to be a ruler in Israel on my behalf will come from you.” Throughout the Bible, God chooses leaders from surprising places. He doesn't pick the wealthiest, best educated, or most sophisticated. God's leaders aren't in any of the places that we would be looking for them. So what does this tell us about God?

As we enter Advent, where might God be working in your life and in the life of our world? God is working, God is here, but would we ever have suspected Bethlehem?

Loving God, you are indeed present in our lives and in the life of our world. Help us to see you in surprising places this season. Open us up to a fuller picture of your presence and your purpose. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Written by Liz Nickerson, Family Ministry Coordinator

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