Prayer: As we remember Jesus born in Bethlehem long ago, may we know he is in our hearts today. Peace on earth. Amen
Reading: Micah 5: 2-5a (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I was born in Bethlehem. In a hospital called St. Luke's, no less. Well, actually, the hospital is in Fountain Hill, a small suburb of Bethlehem but close enough. It felt kind of special. On top of South Mountain, there is even a huge star that shines over the city during the Christmas season. I could also add I grew up in the town of Nazareth about 10 miles to the north but that would border on bragging. There are Bethlehems and Nazareths in other places, the most important being in the Holy Land. But it sure gave my childhood mind something real to grasp when I saw the star and stood at manger scenes.
The message of a savior to be born in Bethlehem, as foretold by the prophet Micah and later told in the nativity stories of the Gospels, truly resonated with me. I never doubted it happened. Albeit on the other side of the world but, whatever, I was very young. However, for the people of Micah's time, the idea probably seemed unlikely. The shepherd David came from Bethlehem and became a great ruler but Micah is talking much bigger. Feeding his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; the one of peace. (v. 4,5)
Maybe it is easy for us to believe Jesus was born in Bethlehem but even more we need to believe is He is in our hearts. Peace in our hearts. Peace on earth.
-- Ruth Gates
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