TEXT: The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1)
"Begin at the beginning," says the king in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, "and go on till you come to the end; then stop." The Gospel writer Matthew follows this advice, starting his story with Jesus' ancestors. This week we'll look at several of them.
Top of the heap are the two Matthew mentions in the first verse: David and Abraham. David was the shepherd boy God made into a great king of Israel; Abraham was the childless old man God transformed into the ancestor of all Israel. Neither were much to look at in the beginning; what mattered was what God did with them.
And that's what matters with us, too, isn't it? We are not much to look at, most of us. But we are the people God has chosen to be His own through faith in Jesus Christ. We are the ones He has given new life to, in Baptism. And He is even now transforming us into the people of God He decided to make us way back before the world began.
There's another reason David and Abraham belong here, at the head of Jesus' genealogy. They both received the same promise from God-that God's own Son would be born as a human baby into their family line.
Both Abraham and David held on to God's promise with all their might. They understood that this was the best news God could give them-that a Savior was coming who would rescue the whole world from the power of evil and death. They didn't have much detail about it yet. But they trusted God to keep that promise, and they looked forward to it and taught their families to wait for the promise to be kept.
Now we rejoice because that promise has been fulfilled. Jesus our Savior has come, born as a baby in Bethlehem! Thanks be to God!
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for keeping Your promise to Abraham and David, and sending Jesus into the world to be our Savior. Amen.