“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times”… He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be their peace. Micah 5:2, 4-5

     Most loving Lord Jesus, there’re so many reasons to love and worship you. First and foremost, simply because you are God… who, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, are singularly worthy to be worshipped with everything we have and are. The fact that we’re even tempted to worship other gods is irrefutable uncontestable confirmation that we’re a sinful and broken people… desperate for the salvation that you alone can give.

     Today, Jesus, we’re especially moved to worship you for being the Shepherd-Savior that you are. Having laid down your life as the Lamb of God, you have risen and are now the standing shepherd promised by Micah—relentlessly caring… vigilantly protecting… faithfully providing for us. You never slouch, sleep nor slumber. You’re constantly cherishing and caring for us. You know us by our names and needs. Be praised and worshipped, O good and engaged Shepherd.

     Jesus, because of your great love for us in the gospel, we lack nothing we need. Though we don’t get everything we want, we do have everything we need for life and godliness… and a whole lot more. We praise you it’s green pastures and quiet waters to which you lead us—all for the restoring of our tired, weary, broken, rebellious souls. Your kindness is without equivalent.

     For your glory, and our good, you guide us along paths of righteousness, goodness, truth and grace. And even as that journey involves traversing places marked by decay and death, you are with us… and that’s all we really need to know. We don’t have to be afraid of anything or anyone… for you are with us. You are the Shepherd-King of whom David was a hint.

     Jesus, you nourish us all the time, even when enemies are close by and threatening. Your generous anointing overflows us for the blessing of others. To follow you is to be followed by the fragrance of your goodness and love. Even in heaven… even in the new heaven and new earth, you will be our shepherd, leading us to springs of living water (Rev. 7:17). Your greatness, Jesus, will reach to the ends of the earth and we will always live securely, for you ARE our peace, now and forever.

     So very Amen, I pray… we pray, in your great and gracious name.