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Thursday, November 5, 2015

In Oblivion


But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. 

Micah 5:2 NASB


I’m fascinated (and sometimes perplexed) by what goes viral on social media. Maybe it’s a cute baby (or puppy) doing something darling. Other times it’s something troubling done by someone who should know better. Seldom, though, is it an everyday, daily task common to womankind.

Getting up before dawn to trudge out in the snow so we can make the commuter train and get to work on time. Tossing a load of clothes into the washer or running the vacuum when everything in our body screams to be on the couch snoozing. Preparing a meal for our family when we’d like—just this once—to be served instead of serving. Unless something remarkable happens during these daily comings and goings, not one person takes notice of our sacrifices in these monotonous events.

Laboring in oblivion is where most of us spend our days. Keeping a roof over the heads of our loved ones; being sure they’re fed and clothed and well-stocked in necessities. That’s where our energy tanks get drained to the dregs.

I see that kind of dailyness when I read Micah’s now-famous prophecy about Bethlehem. It’s a snapshot of tens of thousands of daily days.

But you Bethlehem …

An insignificant place, a community of dozens (maybe hundreds) of families keeping flocks fed, baking small cakes of bread in stone ovens, sweeping dust from rocky floors in dark cave-like dwellings, trying to eek a living out of sandy ground.

Too small to be noticed. Too inconsequential to warrant a second glace from outsiders.

But you Bethlehem …

Even so, for centuries this unassuming place sheltered the remnants of David’s kingly line. For it was to this tiny place that a young man with that royal birthright (see Matthew 1’s genealogy) and his pregnant bride would be called to return – to his family home for generations. And so would begin a sequence of events that would rock the planet from that generation through ours and beyond.

But you Bethlehem … you will shelter the King of kings.

This striking turn of events makes me wonder what eternal significance is taking place in the inconsequential events of our dailyest days? What person are we impacting for the kingdom of God—simply by a touch on a shoulder, an understanding smile, or a word of comfort? What post on our social media account will encourage a distant friend to keep pressing on for one more day?

But you Bethlehem … but you [fill in your name here] …

Though your day be small and insignificant … though you toil in oblivion … though your life seems spent in a million meaningless tasks. Even so, be assured that God sees you and has reserved something remarkable for you. It just may be hiding in a very small package in the Judean countryside of your life.



Blessings and prayers,
Julie

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