But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.
I love that the Messiah was born in a small village. When I think about him being raised in Nazareth I think of the importance of family and community. God could have come as man but came as a baby who could grow experiencing interactions with both children and adults. Not all was good for Jesus though - because folks in his community knew him so well they were blinded to the idea that his origins were greater than their town. Because of this many could not see him as a messianic ruler. This familiarity is also a challenge to those who grow up in religious communities.
In this Advent season, Lord help us to get past our religious familiarities.
Have mercy on us that we might find you afresh in the midst of shopping for gifts.
Open our eyes to ways that we can serve others who are sad because of the season.
That we might be born anew in us in this busy and hectic season of celebrations.
Teach us to hear and sing beloved Christmas carols with new ears and voices.
Open our minds to new understandings of Christmas and how we might worship you.
Grant us grace that we might find new ways to love the baby Jesus in our families.
Come Holy Spirit and fill our hearts and our families with love faith and peace.
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