A humble beginning


By Wally Metts, Professor of Communication, Spring Arbor University Online

We live on the outskirts of a small town, with a population of perhaps three or four hundred people.

My family often takes the “by-pass,” as I call it, missing town altogether. But I usually drive through it—how else would I know how many tractors are for sale at the sprinkler company and what the flavor of the week is at the ice cream parlor? The big news is they are finally building a convenience store and we will be able to buy gas in town. It’s a small town with simple people and an average median income of $35,000. We don’t get royal visitors very often. In fact, hardly anyone ever comes here at all.

Jesus was born is such a town. Bethlehem was too small to be listed in the cities of Judah, yet the prophet Micah says: “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. Of course, there were a lot of people there when Jesus was born. A census had been ordered by the Roman emperor, and everyone had to go to their home town and register. No wonder we are told there was “no room for them in the inn.” And no wonder they found a place in a stable. I’m pretty sure if everyone whose family had come from Horton had to come back, I could rent out a few corners of my barn.

In such a place and under such conditions, Jesus was born. This was the inspiration for O Little Town of Bethlehem, which notes:

Yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting Light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.

There was so much longing for this very moment, and yet it finally occurred off-stage, as it were, witnessed only by angels and shepherds.

How silently, how silently
the wondrous gift is given!

This was the plan all along. The Apostle Paul tells us, “you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9 ESV) For our sake He became poor, born in obscurity, practically unnoticed. This is how it had to be. How else would He know the flavor of the week? How else would He know our sorrows and carry our griefs? How else might He meet the hopes and fears of all the years?

Advent invites us to consider the humility of One whose coming and going forth had been known by the prophets from ancient times. And yet they could not have imagined how lowly—and how lovely—it could be. ”Above the deep and dreamless sleep“ of this small village the drama of redemption would unfold, and ”God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven.”

And so it is and has to be:

Where meek souls will receive him still
the dear Christ enters in.

Wally Metts Spring Arbor University Online MA CommunicationAbout Wally Metts
Professor of Communication, Spring Arbor University Online

Wally Metts is an award-winning author and editor, he has contributed to dozens of periodicals and been instrumental in the development of several major programs at the university, especially those related to online learning. He is a fifth-generation Floridian, an elder at the Countryside Bible Church in Jonesville, MI, and a home school dad.

Comments are closed.

About SAU Online

Since 1873, Spring Arbor University has helped students pursue wisdom by offering an education grounded in the Christian faith. What began as a small elementary and secondary school in the late 1800s has evolved into a premier private Christian university that offers engaging online programs designed to meet the unique needs of busy, working adults. While we’re not the only university to offer online degree programs, our distinction lies in our total commitment to providing educational excellence within a Christ-honoring and supportive online community.

Featuring Highly-Ranked and Respected Programs

HLC NCAccne-logo US News Best Colleges Badge Best Christian Colleges and Universities Best Christian Colleges and Universities Best Christian Colleges and Universities Best Online colleges

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master degree program in nursing at Spring Arbor University are accredited by
the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791