But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be our peace. (Micah 5:2-5)
We all feel the weight of the loss that took place in the garden so long ago. In every aspect of our lives—work, play, friendships, family, dreams, and desires—we experience the sense that things just aren’t the way they were meant to be.
Conflict with co-workers deters our most valiant efforts at doing what we think is right and best. Anxiety overtakes us when we find ourselves striving to grasp the illusive cultural ideal that more is better. Our finest attempts at building a business, raising a family or even taking a simple vacation are permeated with difficulty, feuding, and unrest. It’s as if our whole world has been shrouded in an invisible sheet of disorder. Such is the nature of our deep loss.
On the day of our great rebellion, God’s heart broke. For He had made us to experience a beautiful unity with himself. We were created to be in an intimate relationship with our God. But we ruined it. So God, in his unfathomable love and grace, prepared to do something about this tragedy. And it began with a promise.
It was a promise that the evil which prompted our rebellion would not be victorious over God’s intentions. God was not going to concede his beloved creatures to the enemy. Instead, he promised to provide a Savior for his lost world. He would come to reclaim God’s special possession. He would do battle with the enemy and overcome his mischievous schemes. He would provide a way back to God.
This Christmas season, we celebrate the first coming of that Promised One. This week, let us put ourselves in the shoes of our ancient ancestors who waited for the promised Messiah. And let us be grateful that we can know the One who can make all things right, in our work and our entire lives.