Ah, December. What a wonderful time of year.
I’m one of those people that likes to celebrate Thanksgiving. And then move on to Christmas. I know a lot of people who put up their tree before Thanksgiving. But, just so you know, I am not one of them. You will never see my Christmas decorations up until the smell of that fabulous turkey no longer lingers in my home. Not that either is right or wrong, it’s just my tradition.
Once that turkey smell is gone, however, I kick into high gear for the next week. For me, the week following Thanksgiving is always busy with getting the church decorated, which is a great way to work off all of those yummy garlic mashed potatoes from the week before. Between all the moving of heavy buckets containing tree parts, moving huge wreaths out of storage and hoisting them to the top of a 12 foot ladder to hang them above doorways, not to mention all the walking involved, etc. etc., I feel that I have succeeded in working off the extra Thanksgiving calories I consumed.
Once all of that is done, I then move to decorating my home. Yesterday the tree went up and today I will hang garlands and put out all the other miscellaneous decor I have collected over 29 plus years of marriage.
But before I get back to the busyness, I pause. I just need to sit and spend a few moments with Jesus, reflecting on the amazing story of how and why he came to earth. Each December I am drawn to reread the gospels as they tell the story of the life of Jesus and the humbling story of His birth.
If you’ve read the gospels you know that Matthew’s account starts with the genealogy of Christ. I used to just skim over this part quickly without really absorbing the importance of it all. Now I realize that it is there as evidence for us to know that God uses imperfect people to produce even the most amazing of miracles. A few stood out to me this morning as I read.
First there was Abraham, who we know as a man of faith. But he also lied. He sent his wife into Pharoah’s arms, putting the promise of his future into jeopardy.
And then we have David, whom scripture tells us, was a man after God’s own heart. But he definitely got sidetracked when he committed adultery with Bathsheba. Not only that, he committed murder so he could take her as his own.
Rahab was a harlot.
Ruth was a foreigner who was grafted into the family tree, even though foreign marriages were forbidden by Jewish law.
Bathsheba, the adultress who married David, was Solomon’s mother.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that God used so many imperfect people to bring forth His perfect plan ~ the birth of His own Son. But, this shows us that God’s purposes are not stopped by our humanity, no matter how weak and imperfect we are; no matter how far we have strayed. He is continually at work in us and through us, and a good deal of the time he works in spite of us. It is evidence of His Grace.
Thank you, God, for the grace you have poured down through the generations, reaching me. Your grace is so amazing that it leads me to turn from my own sinful, selfish ways and look to you and our will for my life. Help me go through this Christmas season with my heart focused on the true meaning of it all, Jesus.
My prayer is that each one of you would find the grace of God evident in your life as we spend this month celebrating the birth of His Son, Jesus.
Matthew 1:16 ~ Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah. (NLT)