Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”… When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. Matthew 1:19-21, 23
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:35-38
The Christmas story is filled with contrasts between those who rearranged their very lives in order to make room for the birth of the Messiah and those who either opposed His birth or were completely indifferent to it. Mary and Joseph had their lives changed forever. Their obedience and their ability to embrace a seemingly impossible circumstance set them apart. Even more, it was their willingness to set aside their own pretty good plans in order to be obedient to God which makes them perfect …
Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.
A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. Matthew 1:1, 16
So, what does a genealogy really tell us about a person? Are we to believe that our ancestors really do inform who we are and who we will become? Does it really matter where we have come from, or is where we are going all that matters? I suppose these questions are mostly a matter of perspective and personal outlook. I for one am not one to look backward all that much. Though I definitely believe we can learn from the past (especially from the mistakes of the past), my general outlook is usually cast more forward than backward. But one thing seems irrefutable to me: my genealogy paints a picture of the hand of God at work orchestrating a family tree that would eventually produce me. That, at least to me, is significant.
So, when I read the genealogies of scripture, I am always fascinated by the vivid picture they paint of God at work in lives over a long period of time in order to produce people who would change the world. In Jesus, we were given a savior whose genealogy included amazing men and women of God but also thieves and murderers and adulterers and swindlers. God used the collective lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, David, Bathsheba, and so many others to eventually produce a savior for the world. The more I ponder it, the more amazed I am at the wonders of our God. I don’t know …