WEEK 2: HANG ON TO HOPE / DAY 9: Humility
By Pastor Courtney Hall (Mon. Dec. 6, 2021)
The candle traditionally lit as the second week of Advent begins is sometimes referred to as the “Bethlehem Candle,” commemorating the town of our Lord’s birth, a birthplace shared by the greatest King to rule over the united monarchy of ancient Israel, David the shepherd boy of Bethlehem (1 Sam 17:12). Jesus’ birth in the “City of David” (Luke 2:11) as a descendant of David (Matt 1:1) provides further evidence of His Messianic pedigree (Isaiah 9:6-7; Jer 33:17; Matt 22:42).
Bethlehem means “House of Bread.” Jesus is “the living bread…of heaven” (John 6:51a) born in a manger, where beasts of burden ate grain of the earth. This great King truly comes to us “gentle & HUMBLE in heart” (Matt 11:29; cf. Zech 9:9 & Matt 21:5).
God’s selection of Bethlehem as the birth place of the Messiah reveals the blessed HUMILITY of the Christ & how “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor 1:27). Through the Old Testament prophet Micah, God said of Bethlehem, “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… ” (Micah 5:2).
God’s strength perfects human weakness (2 Cor 12:9). Though God opposes the proud, He elevates the humble (Prov 29:23; Matt 23:12; James 4:6). The Birth of Jesus in a stable in the “Little Town of Bethlehem” demonstrates His true humility. As His followers, we should live “in humility value[ing] others above [ourselves], not looking to [our] own interests but to the interests of others. [having] the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:3-5). Ask God for humility this Advent, and allow the Lord to elevate you with His humble spirit of simple grace.
SCRIPTURE READING: Micah 5:1-5a
"But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, [too] little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity."