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The Ruler of Bethlehem

I feel like David, that ruler from Bethlehem, the moment he hewed off the Philistine’s head. I’ve been battling with a Philistinian plant in the front garden for years. The first time I attacked it, it fought back, growing three branches to replace the one I’d cut off, doubling in height, and standing its ground. And thus has it stood, with menacing posture, until yesterday when I summoned the courage to take to it with an axe.

The battle was fierce. The Gorgon heaved and strained to stare me into submission, and with each strike of my weapon, out spewed a horrible herbal saliva….. until finally it was felled, uprooted and consigned to its green-lidded hearse. I wiped my brow, and left the field, and looked for my wife to receive the Military Cross…… and sat down to ponder, and to recall that deadly battle that was once foreshadowed in the Christmas prophecies of Micah.

Micah was the prophet who saw Messiah hailing from Bethlehem, the greater David and Ruler who would come and bring deliverance, and according to the surrounding text, uproot the idols – in Micah’s day, the pagan Asherah poles – but in mine, the deadly idols of the heart which enslave and prevent that right relationship with God. And so came Christmas and the fulfilling of that ancient prophecy, when the Ruler of Bethlehem strode into our world to conquer sin and to plant something new in the hearts of those who would crown him King.

DM 11th December 2020

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