Bishop Ward quotes Micah’s scripture about tiny Bethlehem and elaborates on how God meets us even in the small places of our lives. She also shares her experience of receiving a $1000 check from West Robeson UMC for Imagine No Malaria.
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May the hope, peace, joy and love of this holy season be yours.
The prophet Micah wrote long ago, “You, O Bethlehem, though you are small among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth One who will rule over Israel. He shall stand and feed His flock like a shepherd, and they shall dwell secure. The majesty of God will be among us, this One will be the one who comes bringing peace.”
As we draw very near to Christmas, we follow Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. There in an out-of-the-way place, a very humble place, Jesus Christ is born. This prophetic word of Micah comes true as we see God coming to us humbly, gently, yet powerfully, in the birth of a small baby boy who will be called Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, Child of Peace.
This last Sunday, it was my joy to be at West Robeson United Methodist Church. During the time of worship, they presented the annual conference with a check for $1000 for Imagine No Malaria. Now you have to know that West Robeson United Methodist Church is a church of small membership. There were 40 people present, and that included some visitors, and yet West Robeson, reaching out into their community, had raised over the past several weeks, over $4000. They are planning to invest $3000 of it in ministry locally, and $1000 of it across the ocean to protect children with mosquito nets.
We give thanks that this movement of God’s people has always been a movement of small groups, people who call themselves small, the least among the clans of Judah. We give thanks that God comes to us powerfully in our small groups, our families, our classes, our Bible study groups. In these groups, Christ stands strong in our midst and we are given the power to be generous and compassionate in mission in the world.
God, who comes to us at Christmas, blesses the smallest place. Thanks be to God.