Friday, December 22, 2006

Bethlehem & Mary

"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."
Micah 5:2

Our church musical this year got me thinking, of all the cities in the ancient world that God could have chosen as the birthplace of His Son, why would He choose Bethlehem? Bethlehem was more of a drive-by than a destination. Our church and college tour groups to Israel have visited Bethlehem and to this day it remains a second rate city.

God could have chosen Jerusalem, Mount Zion just five miles to the north. A city of kings and palaces, a city of priests and the Temple. God could have even chosen a city such as Rome, the most powerful city in the world. And yet, God chooses an out of the way, often forgotten hamlet, Bethlehem.

God chose Bethlehem often. In the lives of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In the life of David, Israel’s greatest king. And as the birthplace of the Messiah, God’s only begotten Son.

What does this tell us about God? God, in His sovereign and perfect will, often times uses the least expected people, places, and things. Look at Mary. Mary was a young insignificant girl in the eyes of the world. There was nothing outwardly special about Mary. But when God called, she was willing. Our God isn’t looking for the best and brightest this world has to offer, He is searching for the willing, obedient, and available. Will He find these qualities in you this Christmas?