Olivia Dear Thames
Advent: December 13
"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth."
O little town of Bethlehem. A spot that was so unsuspecting. Not a thriving metropolis, but a mountaintop village. I’m picturing Pacha’s village in Emperor’s New Groove.
For the Savior's birth, Rome would have made sense. Any bigger city would have made sense. But as it goes, our Savior was born in this little town.
And the thread of Old Testament prophecies wove right into the story of Jesus’s birth.
"But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace.”
I think what we can relate to here is how Bethlehem was unsuspecting. It wasn’t what you’d anticipate for the birthplace of the Savior.
We can hold on to similar thoughts: I’m too young or too old to serve. I’m too scared of rejection to do this. I’m too little known or too full of sin or too fearful or too loud (I really am sometimes too loud). I'm not rich enough or charismatic enough or holy enough.
But what we keep seeing while studying the stories of Advent is that God used unexpected people in unexpected places to prepare for the coming of Christ. He used murderers and prostitutes, liars and lowly locations, those at the bottom of the ladder. Can He not do the same to prepare for the second coming of Christ?
Cristoph Friedrich Blumhardt (what a name) wrote, "But if you embrace what is to come from God, if you live for Christ's coming in practical life, you will learn that divine things can be experienced here and now, things quite different from what our human brains can ever imagine."
It is so easy to let the voices in our heads ring louder than the nudges from the Holy Spirit. We can be quick to think so little of ourselves and quick to think so little of the One over it all. But God can do so much with what is perceived as so little. Advent proves this over and over again.
That little mountaintop town of Bethlehem hosted the greatest miracle in history. And the God who ordained this birthplace of Jesus is not new to the unexpected.