Lifting up the little and small
You, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village.
O little town of Bethlehem Ephrathah and Scappoose, Oregon, and Wallagrass, Maine, and Americus, Kansas, and the quiet side streets and living rooms of a million small and unlikely places; Kingdom comes to places like you.
You there, with your lights strung up and down like sequins that have seen better days. With your ragamuffin kids and paint-chipped Christmas ornaments from 1982, your scarlet poinsettias in the front window, in the fading light of the front room.
Carolers who come round to the nursing home this Friday night and sing, “Hark! the herald angels sing / Glory to the newborn King.” Everyone will smile warm and grateful, and no one will care if it’s off key.
Because there is a king in Bethlehem. In backwater Bethlehem, an unmarried hardly-woman gave birth to your King. And He will be your newborn and ancient and coming and future King, newly birthed, whose goings-forth have been from of old, from ancient days.
A King like and infinitely greater than King Arthur, with his tomb inscription: “Hic iacet Arthurus, rex quondam, rexque futurus” “Here lies Arthur, king once, and king to be.”
Forsake the fairy tales for the story that is history: this Bethlehem King is the true and the real once and still coming King; the King of humanity’s memory. The King from the beginning, back when we were young and the world was Edenic and the wonderland was us.
No matter what the world tries to tell us about a king remember this, Jesus is the king of all kings and we should honor His majesty as our lord.