“But you, O Bethlehem, though you are small…”
Bethlehem was backwoods, podunk. In the US it would be the declining rural town, with one flashing light. Blink and you miss it… in your race to catch up to where everyone else is going. But we know the rest of the verse from Micah, “out of you will come…” Jesus. The Savior of the world. The passed over, the forgotten became essential in the story of Christ.
Our theme for Christmas takes up this idea. Each week we will look at so called “small” parts in the Christmas Story. Only we will discover — just as in acting — there are no small parts! Each is essential. From the star, to the animals, to the unmentioned midwife.
And this is still true today. In the verse from Micah, you can replace “Bethlehem” with any of our names. Though we are small, the light of the world is shining in us.
We are all a part of the salvation story.
This Sunday, the first of Advent**, we focus on the Star that “shines so bright” and guides the way. The idea comes from my family’s favorite Christmas Song, “Hey Moon” by Sidewalk Prophets. Check it out here, so you will be ready to sing along with Sunday’s soloist! See you soon.
** What is Advent? — The Latin root of the word advent means “coming”. So advent is the time to prepare for and celebrate the coming of Christ. It begins four Sundays before Christmas.
Part of our celebration is the lighting of the five candle Advent Wreath. A new candle is lit each Sunday. Four candles represent what Jesus brought: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. The final candle, lit on Christmas Eve, is the Christ Candle. In its glow we celebrate that the light of the world has arrived!