November 27 is the first Sunday in Advent. When I looked up Advent, it was explained this way: A time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. A shorter answer was coming. So, Advent is expecting, waiting and preparation for something to come.
SCRIPTURE: MATTHEW 1: parts of 1 - 17
A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Jesse the father of King David, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 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 Christ.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I tell a story, I start with, “Let me tell you about…” or “Have you heard?” or “A long, long time ago…” No, Matthew starts with, “A record of the genealogy…” Doesn’t that just grab you and make you want to read more? How many people do you know that say, “Let me introduce, Susie. She is the daughter of, the grand-daughter of, the great-granddaughter of --?”
Okay, I will admit I am not big on genealogy so I would, most likely, just skip this part. Or should I? Is it important? Does it matter what Jesus’ family tree looks like?
Actually it does and Matthew realized that. If Matthew was going to write a book for me, he would have started, “Mary, let me tell you about this man I knew. His name is Jesus.” But Matthew wasn’t writing to me, his readers would have been Jews. Matthew wanted them to realize that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament scriptures. Matthew knew his audience.
The Jews had been expecting a Messiah. They had waited a very long time: Fourteen generations + fourteen generations + fourteen generations. They were expecting and they were waiting, but something happened.
Romans 1:16 and 10:12-13 - I am not ashamed of the gospel (proclamation of the redemption preached by Jesus), because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile - the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Matthew tried to give his Jewish readers the facts. He tried to help them make the connection from Abraham to Jesus. Somehow, the Jews missed that Jesus is the Messiah. The Son of God. They missed that their wait was over.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Have you missed Jesus?
LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)
Lord of All, Christmas is coming and it is coming like a freight train at full speed. I feel like -- Advent: Expecting? Waiting? Preparation? Lord, I do not want to be so busy that I miss Christmas. Lord, I do not want to miss you! As I prepare to celebrate Your birth, let me not forget that Abraham was the father of Isaac, Jesse the father of King David, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. .… Amen