Micah 5:2; Revelation 21:1-4

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.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


God loves to take the weak, the lowly, the insignificant things of this world and turn them upside down. Bethlehem, "too little to be among the clans of Judah," is today the center of pilgrimages from around the world and is universally renowned because it is the place where Jesus Christ was born. The place of Jesus' birth has been transformed from an insignificant town to a spiritual destination. At Christ's second coming it won't just be a town, but the heavens and the earth will be somehow transformed and renewed. In the book of Revelation John gives us a window into the ultimate uniting of God with his people in a holy city, new Jerusalem. Stretching our hearts and our imaginations we can envision this new city "coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Finally, "the dwelling place of God is with man." Describing this event as a bride adorned for her husband implies beauty, intimacy, love, union. This is what God's people have been longing for since the Fall. Come, Lord Jesus.


1. Why did God choose "little" Bethlehem as the place for his Son to be born? How do you respond to God's way of using the weak and despised things of this world to shame the wise and display his glory? (I Corinthians 1:27-29)

2. When you consider the reality of a new heaven and a new earth, a holy city coming down out of heaven from God, what thoughts and emotions fill your heart and mind?

3. Do you think God, too, is longing for this union with his people? Explain.


Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ever faithful to your promises and ever close to your church: the earth rejoices in hope of the Savior's coming and looks forward with longing to his return at the end of time. Prepare our hearts and remove the sadness that hinders us from feeling joy and hope that his presence will bestow, for he is Lord forever and ever. Amen.


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