Many centuries ago, the prophet announced,
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace.” [Micah 5:2-5, ESV]
The Word of God was fulfilled. And now, with joyful hearts, we remember what happened in tiny Bethlehem—we jubilate the incarnation of God’s Word, the incarnation of the One “whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” We celebrate the Birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. The Ruler Christ has many majestic and powerful names. But the prophet Micah calls the coming Savior “peace.” How thirsty thousands of hearts are to hear this short word today! To hear it in order to dwell secure. To hear it so that the fear may go away, the anxiety may depart and the pain may subside. It is for that purpose that Christ came into this world—to “shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord.” And today God is with us in order to cleanse us from sin with the sacrifice offered on Calvary, to set us free from the power of death and of the devil, to give each one of us eternal life. Let us also hurry, beloved brothers and sisters, to worship the Child Christ and find the peace, about which the Savior Himself said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” [John 14:27, ESV]
May the bright joy of Christmas shine on our souls in these days and may the word proclaimed by the angels in that Nativity night come true, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!” [Luke 2:14, KJV]
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and forever! Amen.