“But you, Bethlehem, David’s country, the runt of the litter— from you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule Israel.” – Micah 5:2
Jesus was born in a lowly town, Bethlehem, which was prophesied about hundreds of years before. I love how the Message paraphrases this scripture, calling this small town “the runt of the litter.” Later, when Jesus was being introduced as “Jesus of Nazareth,” the response to that was, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Though that question has a much more weighty meaning, it still captures the sentiment surrounding much of Jesus’ birth, much of the story of Christmas.
He did not come in the expected way. It was not thought that He would be so… well, common! Ordinary! Born in a village that was the “runt of the litter.” Welcomed by shepherds (outcasts) and wise men (Gentiles)… even when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple to be dedicated and to fulfill their purification sacrifice, the Word tells us that His parents bought two turtledoves – the least expensive offering. They were not wealthy or elite. Everything about Jesus was ordinary. Normal. Unexpectedly common.
Lowly beginnings and normal living do not limit potential. A simple and ordinary life is no limitation to what God can do through it. At no point did Jesus ever push to be connected to the high and mighty or insist on changing His circumstances or surroundings to those more influential. From His birth to His death, He faithfully served His Father, right where He was.
I hope this encourages you as it does me… God is not limited by our circumstances. There is no need to clamor for attention or connections or what the world calls influential. We just need to be faithful right where we are. Where we are born, the family we are born into, our income and status… none of that limits the potential we each have!
Prayer: Lord, it is so easy to think that I can’t possibly be used in great ways because I am just an ordinary, normal person. Thank You for reminding me that greatness comes from You – obeying You, serving You, trusting You. No matter my background or bank account or small beginnings, my calling is simply to be faithful and let You work through me in my world however You will. Amen.