Thursday, December 21, 2017

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler 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 brethren 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 dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.” (Micah 5: 2-4)


This passage from the Book of Micah, who prophesied from ca. 737 to 696 BC, is read in our churches at Vespers of Christmas Eve. It points to the “coming forth” from Bethlehem of a “ruler”; and to a certain “she” being “in labor” and “bringing forth.” Then, the prophecy continues, “the rest of his brethren shall return” and He shall “feed his flock,” and “they shall dwell secure.”


Our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Logos, “whose origin is from of old,” comes into our midst, in the flesh, making us His “brethren.” He comes to “return” all of us to His “flock,” that we no longer be scattered and wander about on our own, like “sheep who have gone astray” (Is 53: 6). I can “dwell secure” in Him, Who has “dwelt among us” (Jn 1: 14), making Himself accessible as never before. 


So let me not be alone today, because I don’t have to be. Let me come, in some heartfelt prayer, to the One Who comes to us, “in the majesty” of His name. Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.

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