The Place Of Going Forth

Bethlehem . . . , out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel. —Micah 5:2

A lot of attention was suddenly focused on the small town of Bethlehem. Jews from many parts of the world came to be counted in a census. Mary and Joseph traveled there from Nazareth. Shepherds came from the fields to see the Baby lying in a manger (Luke 2:15-16) after a multitude of angels had come to announce, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (vv.13-14).

Every Christmas, in our imagination, we go to Bethlehem to celebrate Jesus’ birth. But we cannot stay there; we must leave. The angels returned to heaven. Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem, then sought safety in Egypt.

The shepherds’ exit gives a clear message to us. They left the stable and told everyone about the holy Child. “And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds” (v.18).

It’s appropriate for us to do the same. Micah prophesied that from Bethlehem would go forth a Ruler of Israel, the eternal Maker of the world, who had come to save mankind from sin (Micah 5:2). This season, let’s join those who have gone forth from their visits to Bethlehem to proclaim the good news of Christ, who came to save us.

David C. Egner

Go tell it on the mountain,
  Over the hills and everywhere—
  Go tell it on the mountain
  That Jesus Christ is born!

The gospel is one gift you can keep and still pass on to others.

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