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Daily Reflection

matthew 1:1-16

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the King.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

HOW JESUS CAME: Through Scandal

Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. All of these women were mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. Very rarely will a woman ever be mentioned in a genealogy, but to mention these women is especially curious. Tamar dressed like a prostitute to trick her Father-in-law into sleeping with her, Rahab was a prostitute that sold out her own country so that the Israelites could capture it, Ruth was a Moabite who ended up becoming a servant to her Mother-in-Law until Boaz mercifully took her as his wife, and Bathsheba committed adultery with David while her husband was off to war.

These are scandalous stories, but they give rise to this final scandal where Mary would tell people of her miraculous conception. She would have to tell her husband that an angel told her she would give birth to a Jewish King in the line of David. She would have to endure the social ostracization that would come from people assuming her immorality. Why would God choose to do it this way? Why would God choose to use these scandalous stories to bring about his purposes?

To remind us, who inherit the story, that it isn’t about what we did or didn’t achieve, but about what God can achieve in us. We are reminded through the genealogy of Christ that God works through the undeserving and broken people to accomplish his incredible purposes, and he desires to work through you. How has God worked through you lately?

Behind The Design

Advent is a season of anticipation. Our focal prayer this year is KINGDOM, COME, which centers around the anticipation of celebrating the birth of King Jesus, as well as longing for his return to establish his Kingdom in fullness. At the time of his birth, Jesus was not welcomed as a King would be, yet his arrival ushered in a new era of God’s Kingdom. This event would set in motion the fulfillment of every promise, the reconciliation of humanity with our God, the restoration of everything that had been broken, and the beginning of a Kingdom that can never be shaken, one filled with hope, peace, joy, and love.

This unshakable, eternal Kingdom, inspired us to use the imagery of a castle – a fortress that not only declares royalty and often inspires reverence, but one that also exudes power and promises refuge. It is a reminder that the Kingdom established at Christ’s birth is one that lasts. It is strong enough to weather this season of in-between – the now, while still not yet, where Christ is reigning, yet earth still groans for the King to return and make all things new.

The color palette we chose knits together this Kingdom them with traditional Advent colors. The gold communicates royalty, excitement, and immense value while also nodding to the imagery John uses in Revelation to describe the Kingdom of God at Christ’s return. The muted pink is a variation of the traditional Advent color of pink or rose, used in the third week (and the third candle in the Advent wreath) to represent joy. The deep purple holds the strongest ties to Advent tradition and symbolizes preparation, repentance, and royalty in expectation of the coming King. You may also recognize that the first, second, and fourth candles of the Advent wreath are traditionally purple as well.

Candles are another key element of the Advent celebration, signifying the birth of Christ as the light entering a dark world. Candles play a central role in our weekly gatherings and can be and instructive and rich tradition within your home in creating your own Advent wreath. We wanted to supplement the overall design theme with candles which you will find scattered throughout the pages in an effort to tie all of our experiences together. Whether you gather with us on Sunday evenings or you watch online and participate with those in your home using this website as a guide, we light these candles together and we pray together as heirs of King Jesus, Kingdom, Come.

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