And you, O tower of the flock, hill of daughter Zion, to you it shall come, the former dominion shall come, the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem. Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in you?
The newborn king
In ancient days the people of Israel cried out for God to anoint a king to lead them. The prophet Samuel first took up this call, appointing King Saul and then King David. Did these kings, sitting as they did on Zion’s hill, solve the people’s problems? They did not. And this did not come without lack of warning. Samuel warned the people that in their clamoring for an earthly king they were placing their lives in the hands of people. People like you and me, fallible and fallen.
The kings came and went. Prophets arose like Samuel before them, each trying to guide God’s people and offer faithful advice to rulers. Micah was one of these prophets, a part of this holy tradition of truth telling. The truths he told arose at a time when there was uncertainty in the land. Where would new direction come from? Could they put their faith in earthly kings again? Micah heard the cries of his people and foresaw the need for another type of guiding figure in our world.
What we find in Micah and all the prophets are whispers, images, flashes of a different type of leader—a new way to live. Christmas is full of shouts of a newborn king, in our liturgies, in our carols, from our lips. Micah asks, “Is there no king in you?” This Christmas let us say with confidence, yes. We do have a king, not anointed by a prophet at the behest of the people. We have a king who is God, God incarnate. This Christmas and every Christmas let Christ’s kingdom be once again reborn in our hearts and guide our lives, finally fulfilling the words of the ancient prophet Micah.
Pr. Daniel Joyner Miller