Wednesday, December 5, 2007

God of the Runt

This Advent season, we here at Westbury are exploring the question, "How Far Is It To Bethlehem?" The focus is on making Christ incarnate in our hearts...and in the world around us.

This Sunday, my message will be "God of the Runt," from Micah 5:2-5. We have a romanticized notion of Bethlehem today, influenced more by Christmas cards and Phillips Brooks' famous carol ("O Little Town of Bethlehem") than by reality. The actual village of Bethlehem was a very unlikely place for a Messiah to be born...like most of the other circumstances of Jesus' birth. This fact brings up certain questions:

Why would God choose an insignificant spot on the map for such a historic event?

For that matter, why does every character in Scripture seem to have some unsavory or undesirable element in his/her past?

Is there anything we can do to disqualify ourselves from being useful to God?

How should this change the way I look at other people? Or myself?

2 comments:

Sarah said...

Hi Jeff,

I love the blog and the back-and-forth it provides us with you.

Your questions remind me of a Christmas sermon Pastor Bob gave one year. He focused on the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-16. He walked us through the list and then discussed how many of the people in Jesus' family tree were less than perfect. Some of them redemed themselves but some we would just call plain bad.

As humans, we always want to know "how" and "why". Unfortunately, we won't get all those answers or see the big picture until we can talk with God directly. In the meantime, Jesus' genealogy does remind us that God can use everyone in His plan and He is always present in our lives.

Jeff Berger said...

Thanks Sarah. I'm glad you told me that Bob preached on that passage...I've preached on it myself before. I'll have to make sure not to repeat that one here!