Red Village Church

He Will be Their Peace – Micah 5: 1-5a

If you have a Bible with you, you could open up to the book of Micah. Our text for study today is going to come from Micah chapter 5, starting at verse 1. I’ll read through the beginning of verse 5.

Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops;
siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the judge of Israel
on the cheek.
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.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
And he shall be their peace.
(Micah 5:1-5a, ESV)

So, that’s God’s Word for us this morning. Let’s pray.

Lord, it’s good to be here this morning. Lord, we’re here because we want to hear from your Word. So, Lord, I pray that this morning that you would speak through your Word, through the folly of preaching. Lord, please remove whatever distractions that we may have walked in here with, that might prevent us from hearing. Lord, I pray that you’d use this time to bring glory to Jesus. In his name we pray. Amen.

So, this morning as we gather together, we do so to celebrate one of the most important events in history. Not just the history of Christianity, but just history. The birth of Jesus Christ. And as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we do so by looking back in time to an event that already has taken place. This morning I want us to work through a passage that was actually written before the birth of Christ. A passage that was for the people of God to look forward to with anticipation to this most important event of Christ who was to come. So, this passage I read for you comes from the book of Micah, which was written about 700 or so years before Christmas, the first Christmas. This morning I want to work through this passage just for a couple of reasons. First, this passage that looked ahead towards Christmas does actually serve us well today. To help us to better see what we look back at when we look back at Christmas and the coming of Christ.

To help us to better see who it is that we are celebrating this morning, second, this Old Testament passage that looked ahead to Christ to come, also I think is there to serve us, to help us to better look ahead to the eternal Christmas that is to come when the Lord Jesus Christ fully returns to set up his eternal kingdom that will have no end, which is something we should long for with great anticipation. This eternal celebration awaits God’s people.

Just a little bit of context to help us set up our text today. As mentioned, this book was written about 700 years before the birth of Christ. In the book of Micah, the Lord is actually confronting his people through the prophet. In this confrontation, God gave his people several warnings or judgments that were going to come their way because of ongoing sin. This sin was the breaking of the covenant that God made with his people during the time of Moses. The covenant or contract declared that God would be faithful to his people and his people declared that they would be faithful to serve and obey him. As this contract was written and the terms were agreed upon, God promised blessings to come to his people for their obedience. However, he also warned of curses that were to come if they fell into disobedience.

However, despite the clear understanding of this contract, from shortly after the contract was first signed by God’s people, all of the people in Micah’s day who were still under that covenant, that contract, God’s people continued to break covenant. Where they continued to fail to measure up on what they said they would do. They kept going into ongoing sin. Where they continued to reject God’s good rule over them. Which, by the way, is a shame that we all fail in. By birth and by choice, we all reject God as the ruler of our lives. As mentioned, this is the failure of God’s people. This is what was happening in the time of Micah. So God spoke through his prophet Micah about a judgment, curses that were coming their way. Now, in Micah’s day, there are many reasons why the judgment of God was about to fall on them. But in particular, judgment was coming simply because of how they were treating one another. They were failing to do justice, to show loving kindness towards one another, which comes when we walk humbly with our God. By the way, these realities, this is the heart of the entire contract, of the entire Old Testament law. To love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And to love our neighbor as ourselves. So this was not being done in Micah’s day.

While there seemed to be a large-scale problem for God’s people during the time of Micah, in this book here, God is most concerned by how the leaders and the so-called prophets of Israel were failing to do justice and show loving kindness and walk humbly with their God. So as you read through the book of Micah, you see the Lord in particular is calling out leaders for being awful, bad leaders. For being leaders who are leading God’s people astray from the covenant rather than to holiness and keeping the covenant. Which they seemed to be doing by both their model and the example that they were given. You can read more about this in chapter 3 of the book of Micah. However, even though this book is filled with confrontation, even though there’s judgment, even though there’s curses, Micah is also a book filled with God’s message of salvation. Where even through judgment that was coming, God would be faithful to the covenant that he made to his people. Particularly the covenant he made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Which were covenant, was a covenant, was not like a two-party covenant like the one that God made with Moses. Where God and his people both signed the covenant. Rather, the covenant God made with Abraham, in extension, Isaac, and Jacob. This is a one-party covenant. Where God promised that he would be good to his people. Where in this covenant, this contract, he alone signed the contract.

So if you remember the great scene in Genesis 15, it’s actually one of the most important and encouraging passages in the Bible. In that passage, God came to Abraham, in a vision, who at that point was actually still called Abram.

And in that vision, do you remember how there was a smoking pot of fire? And a flaming torch? Remember how that passed through the pieces in Genesis 15? Which were pieces of animals?

So now in that day, when covenants were cut, they were almost always two party covenants. And what would happen is that pieces of animals would be laid on the ground to create a path. And in the covenant, the lesser of the two parties would agree to serve the greater of the two parties.

And the greater would promise to protect the lesser of the parties. And in the stipulation the contract was agreed upon, the lesser of the parties would walk between the pieces. Symbolizing that if they broke covenant, if the lesser broke the covenant, if they failed to do what they said they would do, they understood, they accepted that what happened to the pieces of the animal, would happen to them.

Namely, if they broke the covenant, they bring a curse upon themselves. Genesis 15 is mentioned, this is a one sided contract. Where God Himself alone signed the contract. He alone walked through the pieces.

Which in this covenant, He promises that He would be good to His people. Regardless of how good they would be to Him. Or how faithful they would be to obedience and service of Him.

In that contract, the entire thing is tied to God’s name, his reputation, and his faithfulness. Back to Micah. Yes, there were curses coming on God’s people because they broke the contract they signed with Moses. However, because God made a covenant with Abraham solely tied to His name and promise, the people of Micah had hope. They had hope because God made a covenant with Abraham. And another covenant with Abraham, which we’ll get to in just a bit. It’s mentioned, a promise that He would be good to His people by sending a leader. This leader, unlike the leaders in Micah’s day, would be good and faithful. A leader who would build His kingdom, triumphing over all other kingdoms. His kingdom is a kingdom filled with peace. For the people in Micah’s day, this is the leader they eagerly anticipated to come. This is the leader we see come at Christmas. We look back today and also look forward with great anticipation for His return. So with that as an intro, let me look back, starting in verse 1 of our text. What I’m going to do is kind of walk us through these verses we read earlier. So verse 1, we see at the start of this passage this morning, some military language being used. Our text tells us, it says, “Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops, or O city of troops.”

Muster them up, because siege is laid against us. And with a rod, they will strike the judge of Israel on the cheek. Now, this verse here, verse 1, this opening verse, is obviously painting a very bleak picture for God’s people. A picture of panic and a cry that’s filling the city. Where they’re basically begging for soldiers to come and fight. This picture in verse 1 shows a small army being overwhelmed by a much larger, more powerful army. The smaller army’s attempts to defend itself are futile. The harder they try, the further they fall behind. Despite their cries for reinforcements, no help is coming. They are in a hopeless predicament, failing to defend their city. There is no hope for them to fight back. As mentioned, they are under siege, overwhelmed. The enemy in our text has not only reached the city, which in this context is Jerusalem, but they have also reached the judge of the city, or Israel’s current ruler. This ruler would have been the most protected person in Israel. Yet, this great army has made its way through the most fortified part of the army to get to the ruler.

And in verse 1, as the enemy was able to get to the ruler to add insult to injury, we see that in the text, the enemy starts to mock the ruler of Israel. As they begin to strike the ruler with a rod on the cheek. This is verse 1. This is a hopeless scene. Utterly hopeless. I should mention here, this scene here, this is not a current event, like a current news report that Micah was giving. Rather, this was a prophetic event that was to come. Micah was speaking about an event down the road, where God was announcing to his people what was going to happen to them because of their unfaithfulness to him, to the covenant. So unlike the joyful anticipation of the announcement of Christ to come, which is starting in verse 2 of our text, the anticipation in verse 1 here, this is dread. This is a scary scene. As mentioned, utter, complete hopelessness. City of Jerusalem destroyed, the leader captured, being mocked, made a spectacle for all to see. This is a verse tied to the curse of what was to come. Verse 1 is a prophetic announcement of what the curse was going to look like for God’s people.

Most likely, it’s pointing to the downfall of Judah and Jerusalem, which would come by way of the great enemy of Israel, the Babylonians. The Babylonians would come a little over 100 years from the time of Micah. They would come and ransack God’s people, destroy Jerusalem, and lead God’s people into captivity for an entire generation. As the Babylonians came, to add insult to injury, they even set ablaze the temple of God that Solomon had built, which is the great symbol of God dwelling with his people. In destroying the temple, symbolically the Babylonians were saying and declaring that they defeated the God of Israel. God’s people had to live with this announcement, this curse, for a couple hundred years. It was a dreadful anticipation, knowing that severe judgment was to come. Can you imagine having to carry the weight of that hopelessness for generations? For God’s people, they had to wait with terrifying anticipation of this coming. This had to be miserable, not knowing exactly when it would come, but just knowing it was coming.

However, as we keep going in the text, even though there was judgment to come, even though there was a curse that they lived with, even though they had dreaded anticipation in front of them, you see, starting in verse 2 of our text, there was good news for them. Good news. They had hope. As I mentioned, God made another covenant with his people, one that was exclusively tied to him, to his name. Which in verse 2 of our text, was the hope for God’s people. A hope of a ruler to come. One who would come from seemingly the most unlikely of places, in verse 2. To you, O Bethlehem, Ephrathah. To you is going to come this one, even though you are too little to be among the clans of Israel. For from you should come from me one who would be the ruler. Now, just a couple of thoughts here. As mentioned, hope that was coming. It was coming from almost like the most unlikely of places. From Bethlehem. From the smallest tribes of Judah. In many ways, this unlikely place to find hope, simply because this is such a small tribe. This is almost kind of like a backwater type town, a backwater type tribe. And maybe in our day, think of some type of real, small, isolated, rural city. You know, a place that is just like overlooked and afterthought. That’s an unlikely place for a king to come out of. Kings, rulers, leaders. They have a certain look, a certain lineage, a certain scale, a certain grandeur, a certain size, a certain gravity tied towards them. Where bigger is better. But here, Bethlehem, small.

Also, let me point out here, even though Bethlehem, in one sense, is unlikely, this is actually the place people should have known this is exactly where God’s people, or where God’s ruler would come from. Because God already gave this information to his people. What he did in another covenant that he made, the covenant with David, who was a king of Israel around 200 years prior to Micah. For those who were with us in our study of 1 Samuel, we finished up this fall. You may remember David also was an unlikely king to come. He was the overlooked son of a man named Jesse, who had older brothers, who much more looked the part of being a king than him. Yet it was David who the Lord desired to lead his people. And as David eventually became the king, it’s mentioned God made a covenant with David found in 2 Samuel 7. Let me just read that passage for you here. It says, “Speaking of David, So clearly in this covenant with David, God’s eternal rule, his eternal ruler would come from his lineage, from his house. From Bethlehem, the town of David. So even though in one sense it’s unlikely an eternal ruler would come from this small tribe, at the same time it should not have been a surprise to anyone that Micah wrote this. Because it’s just 200 years prior. God told his people, in his word, that this would happen.”

That the ruler would come for David, to be the anointed ruler, the Christ, the Messiah. As he came on Christmas, he would bring hope to his people. Keep going. In this Christmas prophecy of Micah, not only did God give his people hope by way of this reminder, that this ruler would come from this most humble of places. In our text, Micah also gave some details on how this leader would look. How he would lead. Which would help God’s people see how different this ruler would be from the ones that Micah already condemned in chapter 3 of this book. You see starting in verse 2. Take your eyes there. That this ruler would be so different from all other rulers. Because this ruler is eternal. His origin, his coming forth, is from old, from ancient of days. All the translated word is that his coming is forth from iniquity, from eternity, or from old and from everlasting. Making this ruler that it was to come, divine in nature. So yes, this ruler comes from David. But he’s also the one who comes before David. And as the ruler of eternity, he will rule forever, everlasting, without end. This verse here, this is letting God’s people know about Emmanuel. That God himself would come to be with us. The one who is everlasting would come to be the ruler of the people. Which by the way, the book of Isaiah, also a prophet, around the same time of Micah, explicitly told his people. Keep going, verse 3. The eternal, divine ruler came. We see that he came with a plan. A patient plan.

The text tells us, “Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth.” Now, the giving up until this time refers to some type of in-between time. I mentioned a time of patience as the ruler worked out his great plan.

I also mentioned scholars debate on when that time was and what that refers to. Perhaps it refers to the time between when the Babylonians would come to see Jerusalem, leading God’s people into exile.

Verse 1 states, “So from that time until the birth of this ruler, which came 500 years later, in that time God’s people would be given up in ways that he won’t have secure leadership over them.”

Others think that the in-between time, this time of patience, is more of a reference to when the ruler comes and when he returns, which is like the era we’re in now. As we live between the times of Christ’s first coming at Christmas, and as we wait for him to fully set up his kingdom when he returns. And perhaps there’s even like a double meaning here where both these ideas are captured. For me personally, I’m not sure what’s best to think. But I do think it actually does refer to the time between the exiled and the time of Christ’s coming. Although both realities are true, we see this in scripture. By the way, for those who live during the times between the times, whether it be in the promises of Christ to come or the promise of Christ’s return, we know this. This is like a hopeless time. It can feel hopeless. It can be hard. It can be discouraging. It can feel the pain and hurt and questions. Which is why we have to keep going back to promises like this that God has given to us so we don’t lose hope. Keep going to the text. The woman in labor who was given birth. Now this is also debated in church history. So some believe this is a specific reference to Mary, the virgin mother of our Lord Jesus, which certainly can be true. Others think that this woman who was given birth is more of a general reference to Israel as a whole. How from Israel the promised ruler would come.

If not Israel as a whole, perhaps this is actually referring to Bethlehem as being the mother, which I tend to think the text is pointing us to. And as this child comes between the times, we see that as he comes, he will come, he will bring rest to his brothers. And his brothers will return to be one in Israel. This ruler who was to come is so different than the current rulers of Micah. Because as he rules, he will rule in such a way he restores things. He’s making things right. As he rules, no longer will his people be scattered and isolated, left as exiles. Which is where the current leaders were leading God’s people. Rather, this ruler who was to come, as he comes, he will bring his people together as one. Where they’ll live in joyful harmony with one another. Through this leader, God will have his people gathered, not scattered. Keep going. As we learn more about this ruler to come, we see in verse 4, we’ll see how he’ll do it. We see this eternal ruler who was to come will lead his people with kindness, and gentleness, and grace, and love. As he will stand and shepherd his flock. Which, once again, is so different than the current rulers of Micah’s day. Who sought to exploit the flock of God. This ruler will shepherd the people. He’ll be gentle with his sheep. Because this ruler actually cares about his people. He loves his sheep enough that he stands with his sheep. He personally protects them.

He provides all that they need, including comfort and joy. But as this ruler rules as a shepherd with kindness and gentleness, don’t mistake that this leader is weak or fragile or some type of pushover. He’s just too nice. We see in the text that as the ruler shepherds his people, we see that he does so in the sovereign strength of the Lord. And not just in the strength of the Lord, but our text tells us he will rule in the glory and the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And as he reigns as shepherd, with all glory, all will stand in awe of him. He will be magnificent in their sight. He will capture the hearts of his people. His people stand as sheep in awe of him. So in our text, as they stand in awe of him, they dwell secure. They know that this ruler, this shepherd leader, is the one who will lovingly, graciously, gloriously keep them. No longer will they have any fear of being laid siege. No longer will they fight against anxiety and worry. No longer will any of their enemies be a threat to them, who threaten them to come, to steal, kill and destroy. No longer will the sheep have to live with the fear of the curse. Because as their shepherd ruler rules, they dwell in perfect, full security. As they look to their shepherd, who is in their midst, they have nothing to fear. His perfect love for them casts out all fear. Keep going. This is how different this ruler is from all other rulers. We see in the text that the name of this shepherd leader will be great.

He will have a name that is above all other names. And not only will his name be great, we see in the text that his kingdom will also be great, as this ruler will extend his reign to the very ends of the earth. This further speaks how glorious, majestic, and powerful this ruler is. His kingdom will cover the earth. There will be no limits to his rule, to his reign. And finally for us this morning, verse 5, this great ruler that the people of Micah’s day anticipated, as he extends his kingdom to the ends of the earth, we see that he will rule over it with peace. This is so far different from the rulers in Micah’s day, who ruled with the curse in verse 1, who ruled the city under siege. This ruler will come, and he will bring peace. And he will bring peace because verse 5 tells us, simply yet powerfully, that he himself shall be their peace. Verse 1, this is very sobering. Verse 1 is a terrifying anticipation. But then we get to good news in verses 2 through 5. Deeply joyful anticipation, one that leads to great celebration, which provides hope for God’s people. Hope for us today, including all those today who may have walked in here feeling hopeless. Friends, as we look back at Christmas, as we see who Christ is, as we see the great promised ruler, we see the one who fills our hearts with hope and celebration. Friends, this Christmas, as we look back at Micah 5, we have hope. We have peace.

As we’re reminded that God is so good, he is so faithful to his people, they would send to us a ruler like this. Which leads to how I want to close our time here. It’s just simply by pointing us to the hope of God found in this passage. It’s to get a hope that the people in Micah’s day anticipated as they longed for Christ to come. This is the hope that we now live in as we know that Christ has come and he is here in Jesus. Which is why we are here to celebrate. To celebrate Jesus, the Christ, who is our great and glorious ruler. Who is the very one this passage spoke about 700 years before he came. The one who was born on Christmas in Bethlehem. Born in the family of David. Born to rule and reign for all eternity. So from our text, let me give you just a few things that we see concerning Jesus Christ that we celebrate this Christmas. So we have a handful of these. First one is going to be a little bit longer. And then after that, the rest of them are going to go through pretty quickly. So first, as we think back to Christmas, as we think to Micah 5, in Jesus, we’re celebrating a ruler who is indeed the great God man. True God. True man. That’s what we celebrate. Because that is who Jesus is. The eternal Son of God. The eternal Word. The second member of the Blessed Trinity. Who became man as the Word became flesh to dwell among us. That’s the truth I actually see in this passage in Micah. The coming of a God man to rule.

In our text, as man, the Christ who was to come was the one who came from the lineage of David. He was to come as a man born in Bethlehem from Judah. What we see in the Gospel accounts, as Christ came fully as man, He did so in the most humble, unexpected ways. Not just humble and unexpected to be born in Bethlehem, but in great unexpected humility. And the first Christ is born. Jesus Christ is born among the animals. Or He was laid in a manger. Then in further unexpected humility of Jesus Christ, not only is He born in the most humble of ways, He also lived the most unexpected, humble lives. Where in His humility, in His humanity, He toiled most of His life in obscurity. Not a life you’d expect a ruler to live. Rulers live big, noticeable lives. Not humble ones. Yet, that is the life that Jesus lived. And as He lived the humble life, He did so in ways that we could never live it. And that as Jesus lived His life, He lived it without sin. He lived a life where indeed He did keep every jot and tittle of the law of God found in the covenant with Moses. Yet, even though as fully man, Jesus Christ did not sin, to fulfill His mission in further humility, in most unexpected humility, as fully man, Jesus Christ also came to die. To die as our substitute, to be our representative. Where in human flesh, Jesus took on the judgment, the curse of sin. Where in unexpected humility, Lord Jesus Christ laid down His life to die on a cross. Where He died as a public spectacle.

Whereas He was dying, He was whipped and mocked, beaten with a rod, where He spilled His blood for us, by which He created a new covenant, a covenant in His blood. In this new covenant, all who put their faith in Him, including all today, all who trust in Jesus, who churned Him as Lord and Savior, would know God, be known by God, eternally. This should not be a surprise, because God clearly told that to us in His Word. Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and He rose again from the dead according to the Scriptures. Through Him, by faith in Him, we could know God. As the great God man, the righteousness of Christ, fully man without sin, can be counted as our righteousness. His death atones for our sin to provide us with forgiveness. Through faith in Jesus Christ, the great God man, as He spilled His blood, our sins are forgiven. As Micah 7 tells us, they are cast into the depth of the sea, where God will know our sins no more. Friends, that’s the hope that we have as we celebrate Christmas. The hope that Jesus Christ came to us fully man, who came to us filled with unexpected humility, to die for us, so by faith we might live towards Him. By the way, let me also mention here this morning, if you are discouraged and weary, because Jesus Christ came fully man, Scripture also tells us He is our great high priest. And as fully man, He can sympathize with us in all of our weaknesses, whatever those weaknesses might be.

Whatever weakness perhaps you’re carrying this morning, whether it be a weakness of a struggle with sin or just a struggle with some type of sadness and sorrow, have hope. God sent a ruler to be fully man, Jesus Christ, to be a great high priest who can sympathize with you. As mentioned, Jesus Christ is not just fully man, He’s also fully God, which is also what we celebrate in Christmas – Emmanuel, God with us. Scripture is clear, that is who Jesus is, the eternal, everlasting God. In our text, He is the one from old, from ancients of days that Micah spoke about. So not only can Jesus sympathize with us as being fully man, but because He is fully God, He has all power and all authority to deal with it. In our text, He possesses the strength of the Lord, our God, to overcome all of our weaknesses. Jesus is the one who is now filled with all majesty, at His name, every knee will bow and confess Him to be the Lord. Friends, this morning, this Christmas, as we look through this Old Testament passage, that’s the Jesus that we celebrate, the promised God man who has come to save His people. Second, in Jesus, we also celebrate a ruler who came to fulfill God’s Word. The New Testament tells us indeed that all the promises of God find their yes, their amen, in Christ. We know it’s in His Word, God has actually made some pretty incredible promises to us. He’s given us incredible covenants.

He promises that all who by faith come to Him, He will receive. He’s given us a promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He promises that His steadfast love will always be on His people. He promises His people that He’s for us, He’s not against us. He promises He will remain faithful even when we are faithless.

And all of these promises, including the great promises of Micah, of this ruler to come, they all are fulfilled in Jesus who came on Christmas, who came at the right time, the fullness of time, to complete and fulfill all that God promised that He would do.

Listen, we know this. In life, so many promises are made, but not kept. We know the pain that comes with unfulfilled, broken promises. In fact, some of the deepest pain that we can carry is broken promises.

Friends, it’s Christmas. We have hope. We can celebrate because as we look to the Christ child born on Christmas, we see indeed our God will keep His promises. He will keep the covenant that He has made with us.

Third, in Jesus we celebrate our ruler who is our good shepherd. Jesus is the one who is kind, and gracious, and loving, and tender-hearted. Jesus is the good shepherd who guides us, provides for us, protects us, cares for us. Friends, that’s how Jesus rules over the life of His people.

Our Lord is not harsh, or cruel, or impatient, or apathetic, or sarcastic and cynical towards His people. He’s good to us.

And through the power of His Spirit, He stands so closely in our midst. He actually dwells securely in our hearts. Friends, that’s how Jesus came to rule on Christmas. As He’s born among the sheep, He came to be our shepherd, our good shepherd who is gentle and lowly in heart towards His people. He is a good shepherd who calls out to all who are weary and heavy laden to come to Him so that He might give us rest. He will not break a bruised reed or put out a smoking wick. That’s one. As we celebrate Jesus Christ, we celebrate the ruler of peace. He’s the King of peace. Jesus is the King of peace, not chaos, confusion, pain, sadness, war, or death. This is how the rulers in Micah’s day ruled, and how many leaders throughout history have ruled. Jesus rules differently. He rules better. As He rules heaven and earth, He rules with peace. Peace on earth and goodwill towards men. We know this peace. It is one of the great longings of mankind. We long to find peace. Peace in our troubled hearts. Peace in the troubled world. Peace with God Himself. This Christmas, that’s why Jesus came. He came to give us peace and to rule with His peace. It is a peace that surpasses understanding, quiets our troubled hearts, allows us to dwell securely, and allows us to come to God not as His enemy, but as His friend.

He’s come to give us peace over whatever it may be that may be sieging our life because of the curse. Friends, Jesus has come to give us peace. A peace that He promises He will fully usher in when He returns for us. When He will fully remove the curse from this life. Jesus will completely fulfill that passage when He comes back for us in Micah 5. As He fully gathers His people together. Where we long and anticipate of fully dwelling with Him forevermore in the eternal kingdom that is to come. Where we will forever celebrate Jesus in the most joyful Christmas that we await. One that we’ll never have to leave. Friends, this Christmas we remember back to the birth of Christ. The birth of the promised ruler. May we remember just who it is we are celebrating. And as we celebrate Jesus Christ by looking back, may it also increase our longings and anticipation of this Christmas that’s still yet to come. For we will be together. We will forever sing joy to the world as our Lord has come. Let’s pray. Lord, thank you for Jesus. Thank you that indeed you do keep your promises to your people. Thank you that not only did Jesus Christ come to be born, but ultimately came to die that we might live. And Lord, I do pray that Christ would rule and reign over our little church family. And that he would rule and reign over the hearts of all of us here. And Lord, I do pray that you’d fill us with your peace. I pray this all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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