Small Town Hero

Tuesday, December 1, 2020
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Micah 5:2 – But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. (NRSV)

Every town needs its hero, and I should also say, heroine. Little places like to have someone they can point to and highlight achievements that seem larger than life. There is a certain sense of pride that goes with it.

I am from Sevier County, whose claim to fame rests with Dolly Parton. Dolly grew up in Caton's Chapel, a little community that was a way from either Pigeon Forge or Sevierville. She did not have much money growing up, and that was part of what made her who she has become. She was always humble, not forgetting her roots. But she was also shooting for the stars and not afraid to put herself out front. She started with local shows and then grew into doing Hollywood movies. She wrote, produced, and sang countless country classics. She is widely recognized for her humanitarian efforts. She is a big star from a small town. It would have been easy to have overlooked her, but her light was too bright to keep hidden.

Likewise, Bethlehem was and is a small place. Its one big claim to fame was having been the hometown of David. David, the brightest and best king of Israel, came from this little place that would have been so easy to overlook. We hear later that when the Magi came from the east seeking a newborn ruler of the Jews, others had to hunt to find today's verse as a reminder of where the ruler was to be born. The very idea that a king should come from such a small setting was practically unthinkable.

When we discover that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, it is easy to see how this little place was the site of some big beginnings. Small in size, it had a much larger part to play.

Perhaps this is a good text to remind us how we so often overlook small things. We overlook small places as if they are not important. We overlook small gifts that may have come from a big heart. We overlook people from small towns as if they are less than those who come from larger cities. It is, no doubt, one of the reasons that so many overlooked Jesus in His time on earth.

In this Advent season, let us be watching for the little things in which God may appear.

Prayer: God of all times and places, we come before You now, mindful that Your presence is everywhere. You can be found in both large and small, in both grand and humble estates. Give us a spirit of humility so that we may see the blessing and value of the small things that make up our lives. Help us to honour all, no matter their origins, remembering that Christ Himself was from little Bethlehem. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Leslie Rust <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing, Leslie.

    Very interesting, Leslie, and a good challenge.

    Thanks for blessing me with these words.
    (BC Canada)

    Very thought-provoking encouragement. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you, Leslie.

    Good morning Leslie.
    May we look for the little things indeed. Thank you for writing.

    Hello Leslie,
    We very much enjoyed your devotion today. We hope to hear from you again soon.

    Thank you, Leslie, for your devotional. After 40 years of living in Houston, we moved to Central Texas to a ranch near a small town. What a difference in size but in both places, we found people with great hearts.
    Thanks again.

    Hi Leslie,
    Thanks for your mindful writing this morning. So true, no matter how small or how large the happening or incident our Lord is there to see us through. He is there for us through every stage of life no matter if we live in the big or small places.

    Thanks, Leslie for your devotion.
    Yes, every town needs a hero, and even if they are not famous or wicked, the town becomes known. Otherwise, the town is just another bus-stop in the route.
    So we all sing of this child, born in a manger, wrapped in swaddling cloths; and that gives us all hope of a life with God.
    Thanks, and God bless,
    Have a good Christmas and keep healthy,

    Dear Leslie,
    It is a very interesting concept of the importance of “small” in our world. I think the pandemic has brought home to many of us the importance of all the small things that we can’t do at this time in order to keep others and ourselves safe. The virus is very small, but it can be very deadly. Dolly Parton makes herself bigger than life even though she isn’t a large woman. I wonder if that is partly because she came from a small place. Your devotional really made me think and I appreciate that. May many of us today, join in your prayer and help it to grow. May you have a blessed day.

    One of the small things that bless my life are these devotionals so lovingly written (and edited by our faithful and skillful Robin).
    Thank you for your thoughtful one today.

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