Micah from Moresheth,
in the region of Judah,
gave us Bethlehem as the location
for the birth of the Messiah.
Perhaps he stopped by at the little town
on his one-day journey to Jerusalem
to do his prophecy thing.
He posed a challenge for gospel writers,
Luke and Matthew:
how to arrange for Jesus from Nazareth
to be born in Bethlehem, three days to the south.
For the one, it was a census; for the other,
fear, a massacre, and the return to a new home
after refuge in a foreign land.
For the one, the drama of a stable birth
with flights of angels and bewildered shepherds.
For the other, a fearful escape
and the vulnerability of refugees.
They each give us reason to pause
and reflect upon the strange purposes
of an even stranger God.
I wonder, if Luke was writing today,
might it be the homeless and the hopeless,
camped beneath a bridge, who would be
the subjects of the angelic invitation?
I wonder, if Matthew was writing today,
would he write of the kindness
of the people-smugglers
who helped the Holy family
reach their place of welcome and safety?