“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
Therefore He shall give them up,
Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;
Then the remnant of His brethren
Shall return to the children of Israel.
And He shall stand and feed His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God;
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great
To the ends of the earth;
And this One shall be peace.” (Micah 5:2-5)
Bethlehem, only a small village among all the people of Judah and yet, here, God chose that His Son and the Ruler of Israel would be born, and this small village remembered forevermore. And so we can hear the collective sigh of relief from our souls — because in the story of Christ, no credentials are needed and no great, exceptional deeds are what counts. Here, the mighty and the mundane matter just the same, and even the smallest of villages are remembered and put on map by Christ’s birth.
Here, beloved, the story of our Hope is at our hands. He who is the the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End; He who has created the heaven and the earth — has come to end our exile, has come to heal our hearts and bind our brokenness. The Maker of the sun and moon, come down as the Light of the world to drive away our darkness.
But what is even more, beloved? This One shall be peace — and let that one weave into the strings of your soul, let your heart sing it with every beat. Our Lord Jesus, He does not bring peace; He is our peace. These days the darkness and evil surrounding us, the news breaking our hearts and our world every single day more — and we understand that though the world is at its limits, crumbling down day by day, our hearts beat the name of the Prince of peace, our Savior who is with us and within us, the peace residing in us.
So today, we light the third candle to mark the third Advent Sunday here — and yes, this is it: Christ the King, Word made flesh. He has come, to those who are little among the thousands, to those who are poor and powerless. Christ the Savior of the world, He has come — and He is our peace, forever.