Today we have the gift of another writer in our Advent Devotionals, Ann Schwarm. It is a perfect reminder that the long list of names we often skip while reading our Bible is important. Enjoy!
Daily Scripture Reading: Matthew 1:1-17
God has a sense of humor. If you don’t think so, just read today’s scripture and think about whom you find in the genealogy of Christ’s earthly family—3 seemingly “bad girls,” a foreigner from the “wrong side of the tracks” and a teenager—and that’s just the women.
Tamar – a seductress, though a righteous one (Genesis 38:1-30);
Rahab – a prostitute turned protector (Joshua 2: 1-21);
Ruth – a loyal, hardworking daughter-in-law, but clearly “not from around here” since she came from Moab, an enemy nation (Ruth 1:1-4:22);
Bathsheba – a reluctant, conflicted, adulterer, but one, all the same (Samuel 11:1-12:25);
Mary, Mother of Jesus – a young, virginal teenager, lowly and humble (Luke 1:26-38).
These are women whose names are enshrined in scripture for all times. What is our heavenly Father trying to tell us by His choice to include these five?
I believe He is declaring that none of us is beyond redemption, none of us is beyond His mercy, no one is disqualified to be in service to Him. But how many times do we decide just the opposite? How many times do we prefer to think we are simply not worthy? How many times do we let ourselves off the hook to move forward with His mission because of this thinking?
As you ponder those questions, ask yourself these:
How does considering these five women who are a part of Jesus’s earthly ancestry change how you look at your own? Is there someone who is part of your family tree whom you need to “see” differently?
Is there an event or an attribute from your past you view as disqualifying you from fully serving God? If so, what is it? Do you see it differently now that you consider how God used these women?
What do you believe God is calling you to do? What are your next steps?
Dear Lord, Thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to save the world, to save me. During this time of Advent, help me accept your redemption. Help me feel your mercy and embrace your grace. Help me not only hear your call but answer it with my willing service. It is with a renewed spirit that I acknowledge that You will use anybody, even me. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen
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