Thursday, December 17, 2015

Advent(Dec. 17): A True Fairy Tale

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.

The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies
    until the woman in labor gives birth.
Then at last his fellow countrymen
    will return from exile to their own land.

And he will stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
Then his people will live there undisturbed,
    for he will be highly honored around the world.

    And he will be the source of peace.
When the Assyrians invade our land
    and break through our defenses,
we will appoint seven rulers to watch over us,
    eight princes to lead us.
Micah 5:2-5

"God gathered His children and told them what would happen even before it happened."

This is a passage of immense significance. Bethlehem - called Ephratah - its meaning (‘fruitful’) suggests that it originally belonged to the valley which leads up to Bethlehem, richly adorned with vines and olive trees -  has been selected as the birthplace of the Messianic Deliverer.  This passage continues a deep-rooted biblical theme. Bethlehem is one of the "little clans."  The village is a backwater, and the one who comes from it cannot be expected to amount to much.  It is a judgement both on the town and on those who live there. And yet, in the case of Bethlehem and those who come from her, the old biblical pattern holds true: the insignificant are exalted. 
The tables are turned, and the most unlikely of people are instruments of God's salvation. From this insignificant little village, a young shepherd boy grows up to become the most beloved king in Israel's history. And a descendant of that king fulfills God's long-awaited promises of deliverance, not just for Israel, but for the whole world. (source)
"Story, after story, as you stacked up one year after another until you had a teetering tower of one thousand long years, the Son-King, Jesus, slipped into the Kingdom. He was born in a barn in the "nobody-would-be-expecting" little Bethlehem."
"No - Jesus did not grow up in a palace - or even have a pillow to lay His head on."
It is not the way of the world, this exaltation of the lowliest. But it is the way God works, over and over and over again. An insignificant village.
 And the one who comes from that little village and that young girl becomes the one Micah proclaims as "the One of peace" (5:5)
O little town of Bethlehem - is the birth town of He who came…and He has changed everything - especially us...
Through it, the Hopes and Fears of all my years are held in Thee, Lord, … always."(source)
"When we love in little ways, the big things unexpectedly begin to happen. Through unexpected people, the story is unfolding and unwrapping all around you and in you, the light overtaking the dark."
"It's coming - the Kingdom's coming in little and small and unexpected ways!"
Come back again, as I share Day 18 of the Advent the book, "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift".(All quotes listed are from the book, unless indicated.)
I will be sharing each story in this beautiful book, as well as some of the breathtaking pictures. Won't you join me? Stop by each day to see the stories shared. If you would prefer I email you each days post, please leave your email in the comments section or send me an email at 
and let me know. I will make sure each post is sent to you.
To view the whole series on one page, go HERE

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  1. Ann's book has been a beautiful blessing to so many of us!

    1. I have read her books over and over and never find them to get old or boring. That truly is a blessing! Have a wonderful Christmas!


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