Advent 2020: The Bethlehem Candle: FAITH
Our washer broke. It breaks all of the time. I have learned over time how to make it work for a little while longer, but it is fairly routine for us to be without a washing machine for a day or two. Looks like this time it might be longer. A repair man will come, he will do what he says the warranty company allows him to do. His hands are tired. Ours are as well. It seems like we will be in an unending cycle of patch jobs and crossing our fingers each time we do the laundry.
Currently I am at the laundromat. This minor inconvenience makes me think about how reliable God is. He’s far different than what we are used to.
On Sunday I preached on following the One True King. Part way through the message I focused in on what the season of Advent is all about: the faithfulness of God to intervene. Advent means coming and in this season of Advent we reflect on the way God has come, is coming and will come.
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.Micah 5:2 NLT
Bethlehem was such an unlikely place for the savior to be born. But, in a flurry of prophetic longing, Micah foretold of the birthplace of the Messiah—the savior. While Bethlehem was unlikely, it was not unheard of. Another unlikely king came from Bethlehem. David. Hundreds of years before Micah’s prophesy, Samuel anointed David as king. He was the youngest. He wasn’t thought of as the likely king. While he was a terrific warrior, he tended sheep, loved poetry, music and dancing.
So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.1 Samuel 16:13 (NLT)
At this time in Israel’s history, the people wouldn’t have thought of a lyrical shepherd King. But, that’s exactly what they got. And, as it turns out, it is exactly what they needed. They needed a king who would lead the nation to worship, a king who would show God’s power through just a sling and a few stones and they needed a king that would be a man after God’s own heart.
The Bethlehem Candle reminds us that God knows what we need. As I consider Joseph and Mary fleeing the wrath of King Herod, they couldn’t have imagined how their little baby boy would eventually defeat the evil tyrants of the world. Certainly, they wouldn’t have thought he would win by dying on the cross.
But, he did. The God’s of Bethlehem’s unlikely kings is still on the throne. He is still weaving unlikely stories. Advent is really all about God’s creative faithfulness and us choosing to take postures of waiting for God to work his work in the world.
Today, wait on God. Trust him. He won’t let you down.