2019 Advent Devotional – Day 1


Matthew 1:1 – The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Family - Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

The human family is a curious thing. No other living being is as aware of, or concerned by, family bonds and history; and no other being is as consumed by family tension or disputes. Given then, that God promises to be with us in the life and person of Jesus—to be fully human—this means that Jesus also has a family and a family tree. And this is how Matthew chose to start his gospel—by documenting Jesus’ family tree, connecting him to the people of Israel by tracing his ancestry back through King David, all the way to Abraham.

Historically, the genealogy is not regarded as entirely accurate. More significant is the wide range of people and personalities that are listed. Their stories, as we’ll see in the coming days, remind us of the indisputably human experiences that led to Jesus; affirming that God so loved the world that he sent his only Son to live, grow, celebrate and suffer as a human. Through Matthew’s genealogy, Jesus is depicted as inextricably woven into the history of the people of Israel and the families who comprised their past.

The approach of Christmas can place an unhelpful emphasis on our own family connections, whether we are overwhelmed by the pressure of trying to please a multitude of relatives or daunted by the emptiness left behind by absent loved ones.

So remember—Jesus understands. Jesus experienced family in many varied dimensions and accepts us and loves us, whatever form our Christmas experiences may take. This is the promise that we affirm throughout Advent: that God is with us today, loving and sustaining us as we encounter all the emotions of this time of year.

Understanding God,
Be with me as I begin this Advent season and remind me that you know what it is to be human. Whether my days are filled with joy or sorrow, help me remember that you are by my side, accepting and sustaining me with your love. Grant me peace, now and in the days ahead, as I face the pressures and emotions of this time of waiting and expectation. Amen.

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2020.

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