Modern Nativity: Baby Jesus
-Pastor Holly Jo Engle-
“You, Bethlehem, land of Judah, by no means are you least among the rulers of Judah, because from you will come one who governs, who will shepherd my people Israel.” Then Herod secretly called for the magi and found out from them the time when the star had first appeared.
What do you think of when you hear the word, “ruler”? Do you think of a king or queen living in a massive castle? What about jewels and a golden crown filled with precious gems? These images are what we see in our world. The way we view royalty might originate in T.V., books, movies, or documentaries. These pictures and media allow us to create a stereotype in our minds.
Words from the prophet had already discussed the coming of a shepherd. This person would rule over the people of Israel. Micah 5:2 says, “…whose origins are from old, from ancient times”. This person would have ties to an ancestry that went back; further than people of the time could fathom. Setting up the stage for a ruler, of ancient origins, the prophet gave words that struck fear in the heart of Herod. The Messiah threatened Herod’s security as ruler of the time. He had to call together the Magi and find out more information about what they had seen.
The religious advisors read the words of the prophet as they indicated what was to come. Jesus already had a reputation before his birth. However, his sense of royalty was not what anyone had known or an ideal that anyone could recognize. He was in a manger! Not somewhere the people would relate to royalty! He probably cried from time to time, cooed, and napped in the afternoon. No one would have thought a small baby wrapped in cloths would become a King. Boy, were they in for a surprise!
Baby Jesus came into this world with a purpose. He was such an important part of God’s plan and, because of his life, we received salvation. This little baby, who did not “look” like we envision royalty, became a center point that created a movement. How wonderful is the thought of our Lord and Savior, a helpless little baby, creating such a presence, that the Magi would travel, all that way, to pay their respects? This passage reminds me of the great power and massive impact our Jesus holds. This should empower your mission to bring others to Christ. There were no rooms available at the Inn for Jesus, but there is more than enough room in your heart. All hail King Jesus!
Merciful God, We thank you for Jesus and his less-than-royal birth. His majesty was known from the start, and his glory will be known in the end. Remind us to draw ever closer to his teachings. Amen!
Pastor Holly Jo Engle serves the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Blytheville, AR. Her mission has been providing a safe and nurturing environment for children and families to worship freely. She finds hope in the hymns and is heavily involved in choirs and musical ministries. Not only is she involved in religious education, but also in public education. Her public-school experience ranges from grades K-6 with a focus on curriculum and instruction. Her favorite verse is Psalm 47:1 because it is important that everyone find joy in their worship!