Hope at Christmas: Throughout the month of December, Tides will follow PCI’s Hope at Christmas theme, with Bible reflections written by the Moderator and others. It has been another difficult and challenging year for society including our churches, so we want to acknowledge the hope we have as Christians and to share this message of joy, far and wide. To access the full suite of Hope at Christmas resources click here.
MATTHEW 1:1-6, 16-17
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, 4 Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife…
… 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. 17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
REFLECTWho do you think you are?
The comedian Josh Widdicombe recently discovered that he is of blue blood, descended from Elizabethan and Tudor royalty. Judi Dench found out her ancestry is of Danish nobility and maybe even Shakespeare! And Jesus; with a few notable exceptions, the record of his genealogy contains what Paul Beasley-Murray calls ‘A cupboard of family skeletons’. Consider, for example, the women mentioned here in Jesus’s genealogy.
Tamar had a sexual liaison with her father in law. Rahab was what we might euphemistically describe as ‘An Innkeeper’. Ruth ‘uncovered Boaz’s feet and lay down’, Bathsheeba, ‘Uriah’s wife’ bathed naked in a crowded city and Mary, who was ‘with child yet had no union with her husband’. Nod nod. Wink wink.
Yet on closer reading, each one of these remarkable, ordinary women played an indispensable role in furthering a hope that grows. Tamar took a huge risk in order to bring hope to the succeeding generation. Rahab risked her life hiding Joshua and Caleb enabling them to spy out the Promised Land. Ruth made a journey of faith to Bethlehem where she would meet her redeemer. Bathsheeba became the mother of Solomon, whose Temple where God’s glory dwelt prefigured the Lord Jesus Christ’s own incarnate presence. Mary demonstrated humble obedience to God’s will which would lead to the birth of Messiah.
Josh and Judi may have been delighted by their noble ancestral discoveries, but Jesus, the ultimate Royalty, was born in order to become the Saviour of his predecessors, and for those yet unborn.
God is able to redeem anything. Absolutely anything!