40 Days of Hope-Day 24
Hope in the Chaos
Because of Bethlehem-Max Lucado
God Holds It Together
We don’t often mention the lineage of Jesus in context with his birth. Matthew did, however. He opens his gospel with a list with dozens of names. Before he presents the wise men and the star of Bethlehem, he tells us that “Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his broth-ers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram.”
The list goes on and on (and on) for sixteen verses. “Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon.” Yawn. Let’s skip to the nativity story! Who needs to know about Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth? Why does Matthew mention David and Solomon before he mentions Joseph and Mary?
He is making a point. Chaos cannot keep Christ out of his world. The Messiah was born not because of his ancestors but in spite of them. Tamar was abandoned. Ruth was an immigrant, and Rahab was a harlot. David was an adulterer. Solomon was a philanderer. The family tree of Jesus is gnarled and crooked. Some of the kings were blood-thirsty and godless. Yet God had promised that Jesus would come, and Jesus came.
In spite of sin and scandal, Christ came.
In spite of racism and sexism, Christ came.
Though the people forgot God, Christ came.
In spite of, and out of, the pandemonium, Christ came.
The surprise pregnancy, the sudden census, the long road from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Unpleasant and difficult, yet they resulted in the world’s greatest miracle. Everything before this happened so this moment would happen. Was the first Christmas different from what Mary had planned? Yes, but it turned out greater than she could have dreamed. God used the struggles to accomplish his will.
Don’t you need that reminder? In your world of short nights, hard work, and high stress, don’t you need to know that Jesus holds it all together? God holds it all together. And he will hold it together for you