Today we met Micah the prophet on our Journey to the Manger.
Micah had a difficult message from God for the Israelite people. His nation was very near to being overrun by another kingdom because the Israelites had turned away from God. They were doing bad things, treating each other with disrespect and ignoring God’s laws. Micah pleaded with the people to repent of their sins and turn to God. Though the people continued to sin, God still showed His people great mercy. Through Micah, God shared His plan to one day restore Israel through the coming Messiah, who would be born in Bethlehem.
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.
– Micah 5:2
The kids and I played Red Light Green Light to reinforce Micah’s message to the people. Each time we turned to the red side, we said, “Stop doing bad!” When we switched to the green side we called out, “Start doing good!” If a person didn’t stop right away, we chose to be merciful, just as God is with us. After a few turns, Jackson and Lauren got into a fight about who would hold the stick, with both kids yelling and shoving. After a separation time out, the Red Light Green Light game became personal. Both children knew they needed to stop doing bad and start doing good. Both prayed for God’s forgiveness and mercy, and then apologized to each other.
God’s mercy is great and His love, unending. God longs for us to turn away from our sins and follow Him. He delays punishment so we have an opportunity to repent. God loves us in the midst of our sin, and just like the Israelites, God gives us hope when we don’t deserve it. Jesus didn’t come because we had it all together. He came because we needed Him desperately.
Click here to learn more about celebrating Advent with your family this Christmas, including access to a Scripture plan, free downloads and activity ideas. For more on Journey to the Manger, an advent experience from Focus on the Family, visit the Thriving Family website.