Bethlehem Ephrathah . . . a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf. —Micah 5:2
During a visit to England’s picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon, I was struck by how a town’s identity and future can be affected just because someone was born there. Every year, half a million people come to visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare, whom some consider the most influential playwright in the English language.
And what about Bethlehem? With the birth of Jesus, Micah’s prophecy of significance was fulfilled: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf” (Micah 5:2). Bethlehem is defined by Jesus’ birth.
Isn’t the same true for us? When Christ comes to live in us, we are changed. No longer just ordinary human beings, we become the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Our identity and destiny are marked by Him, just as surely as a town becomes known for the significant person who was born there.
Christmas is a wonderful time to celebrate the presence of Christ in us, and the change He brings to all who invite Him in. —David McCasland
God came to live with us so we could live with Him.