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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

Hoping for Peace



“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 threat of a terrorist attack in December 2015 prompted the district superintendent to make a hard decision to close hundreds of schools throughout Los Angeles. Although Law enforcement agencies concluded the danger was a hoax, fear and caution prevailed. According to the superintendent: “The risk was too great.”


That was seven years ago. Unfortunately, our news today continues to report similar threats, some fake, some real. It’s a reminder: We live in a broken world.


Micah’s encouraging words recorded years were addressed to people living with fear. Threats of violence were common. Acts of violence were prevalent. Like us, they, too, had questions:

  • How long will our world be like this?

  • Why do these tragedies continue to happen?

  • What motivates people to be so aggressive, brutal, and violent?

  • Why isn’t our government doing more to reduce crime?

  • Are we confined to live in fear forever?

  • Who can deliver us?

Micah’s words offer hope to his neighbors. However, his words of promise and anticipation are also surprising! From the least likely location (Bethlehem of Ephrathah), a deliverer will come – One strong, capable, and majestic.


What is Micah thinking?


Indeed, our deliverer must come from a more prestigious, attractive community like Jerusalem! We need a seasoned, experienced, gifted, talented, mature person – not an infant! We’re prone to believe that getting the right person in leadership will somehow fix our problems.


Micah’s community – like ours – desired a leader to deliver them. Deliverance for our world requires God to enter our chaos. Precisely, that’s what God does in Jesus.


As we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ this Advent season, let’s reflect on Micah’s words. Let them inspire confidence that Christ will restore peace, renew hope, and remove all fear.


The hope of Advent reminds us: At any given moment, the Prince of Peace still comes from unexpected places.


 

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