PROPHET CORRECTLY PREDICTS MESSIAH!
One of the readings used at Christmas is taken from the Old Testament prophet Micah. He came from a village to the west of Galilee. He saw the big cities of Samaria and Jerusalem, with powerful men taking from the poor, the precious land being stolen, justice being slanted toward the rich and religion being pretty but, not sincere. How like modern times some might say.
He foresaw distant nations sending armies to the two great cities and overrunning them. He prophesied terrible punishment by God upon the people who were supposed to be The Chosen People, who should have known better. A hundred years later, Micah’s words were remembered as the Assyrians then the Babylonians destroyed those cities and the places of worship, taking men women and children into exile.
And yet, he also predicted a saviour. Out of Bethlehem would come a ruler who would be a shepherd to the people. This was spoken 700 years before the birth of Jesus, who was of course, born in Bethlehem and that is why he is used at Christmas services.
Micah understood that the mission of the Messiah would be, to show how to live rightly, would be a leader for all the nations, would administer justice to the weak and free the oppressed. In the end our weapons would be turned into things to work the land with, swords would be beaten into ploughshares.
Perhaps we can all hope for our political leaders to have similar visions.
He summed up how each of us we should live using these clear words. They have become a vision statement for many and perhaps we could think on them as we start our new year.
Micah 6 :8 And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
May you have a blessed Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Revd Kevin Chandra