Micah 5:2-5a (NRSV)
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;
and he shall be the one of peace.
If you ask me about the origin of my family, I am likely to say that home for my side of the family is Marshfield, Missouri. This is the town where my grandparents chose to reside when grandpa returned from WWII. It is where he built the house that my mom and her sister were raised in. It was the house that I would visit every time I went to see my grandparents. This is the town in which my parents grew up. This is the town where my dad’s mother taught school and my mom’s mother taught piano lessons.
It was this town where my parents met one another, courted, and “Studied” in the library which I would visit years later to find good books for the summertime.
It was Marshfield which sat a mere 27 miles from Springfield, where my parents attended college, and where my older brother and I were born. Yes, Marshfield, Missouri is town I attribute to my family’s origin.
For Joseph, his family’s town of origin was Bethlehem it went back many generations. Bethlehem was the hometown of Joseph’s descendant King David.
The prophet Micah is telling people that from this tiny, insignificant town will come the Messiah.
This is why Joseph took Mary to his town of origin for the census, and where Jesus was born, it was at this time that Micah’s prophecy had been fulfilled!
In a sense, Bethlehem is the town where all of us originates. Jesus was God in human form and we are all God’s children.
So, when we go home for Christmas, let’s go to Bethlehem, where we remember Christ’s birth. I’ll be home for Christmas, will you?
Pray: Bring us home to Bethlehem, where we can reconnect with you, our family. Amen