How many Christmas Eve’s have I sat with wrapping paper, tape, scissors, ribbons, gifts only to have to find my list… in an almost panic, fearing (or finding) that something is missing… a present lost or a detail dropped.
Leading to that first Christmas I’m not sure how Mary and Joseph felt, Elizabeth and Zechariah, Herod, the shepherds… but I know one thing: God had all the details set.
The plan was ready since time began.
Not one second of recorded history had been a surprise.
The gospel (the good news) of the book of Matthew opens with a lineage, a long list of long gone ancestors. When I was young I had a hard time reading them, difficulty seeing the purpose… but now… now… do you see it?
The awe and wonder in that list of names?
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.Matthew 1:1-16
What do you see in the history?
The Lord had promised Abraham, “through thy seed shall all of the nations of the earth be blessed”(Genesis 22:18). Are we ready to see it?
Later on God promised to David that He would build David’s house and that his seed would sit upon the throne forever (2 Samuel 7:12). Are we ready to believe it?
And after David, there were many prophecies that referred to the Messiah as, “the branch out of the root of Jesse,” (Isaiah 11:1). Are we ready to bear witness to it?
Because right here God will do just what He said he would do. Luke traces Jesus lineage back to Adam… from the time sin broke what God declared good, God has been at work, is working and is still working all things to good.
As we look back through that lineage what stories do you see? Broken people, broken promises but a good, faithful, and true God. He didn’t come because we are perfectly ready but because He is perfect! That was true two thousand years ago as it is today!
Because God was working it all to prepare for this coming… Jesus, the Messiah, Immanuel God with us is here!