4th Sunday of Advent December 23, 2012
Micah was the last of the four prophets of the 8th century BCE. He was called to address the people during dark times. Times were bad, very bad. The people had been led into captivity and slavery. The future looked bleak, and hope seemed to have vanished. The People were distressed and questioning. They are surrounded by signs of darkness and loss.
Sound like today? 20 little lambs and six shepherds lay out in a field. What do we want most for Christmas?
Danger on all Sides:
Danger surrounded them on all sides. The Assyrian’s armies of Tiglathpilser III had conquered Damascus and Samaria. Sennacherib was occupying part of coastal region and menacing Moresheth. Micah knew the people had long ago chosen to reject God. For not only was the threat external but the prophets, priests and judges had long been accepting bribes.
Wickedness of Leaders:
Micah witnessed the wickedness of leaders political and spiritual. Princes and merchants were cheating and robbing the poor and humble, esp. women and children. Priests, prophets and leaders were adapting words to create images the people wanted to hear. Their leaders mislead the people to swap what was evil for good. The Lord must have looked away and abandoned them to their plight.
Families Attacked and Separated:
Poor little suffering small inconsequential town. Taken into captivity, families separated, children from parents, parents from grandparents, spouse from spouses. No one to speak about their heart ache and pain. Was there nowhere to turn?
Micah was thrust into the stark reality that dreams and images of hope had been shattered and darkness had closed in from all sides.
An ancient story, a promise of hope that buried in his heart leaped into Micah’s mouth and ever so gently escaped into the dark night air.
Do You See What I See?
Said the night wind – to the little lamb: Do you see what I see?
‘Way up in the sky, – little lamb,
Do you see what I see? A star, a star Dancing in the night,
|: With a tail as big as a kite. 😐
Bethlehem, Ephrathah the city of David. Too small to among the clans of Judah, from you shall come for me the ruler, origin of old, from ancient times. The Promise of Hope!
The message of a Promised King.
When the virgin gives birth and He shall stand firm and shepherd, with that shall reach to the ends of the earth, shall be peace.
Said the little lamb to the – shepherd boy: Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing thru the sky, – shepherd boy, Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song High above the tree, |: With a voice as big as the sea. 😐
Times were bad. Danger not only external but prophets, priests and judges were accepting bribes. Micah is preoccupied with the wickedness of leaders, political and spiritual. While princes and merchants cheat and rob the poor and humble, esp. women and children. Priests and prophets adapt their words to please their audience. The leaders mistake evil for good. Dreams shattered all about as the darkness of night closes in from all sides. Nowhere to turn. Unable to procreate.
True prophecy is rejected, and sacrifices are emptied of their relationship to God. The Lord must look away and abandon them to their plight. However, a message of Hope in the middle. A remnant.
Bethlehem, Ephrathah the city of David. Too small to among the clans of Judah, from you shall come for me the ruler, origin of old, from ancient times.
Hebrews Bethlehem, Ephrathah the city of David. Too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come for me the ruler, origin of old, from ancient times.
The Child, the Child, – sleeping in the night
He will bring us – goodness and light He will bring us – goodness and light