God in our Brokenness

Post date: Dec 2, 2013 10:01:12 PM

We don’t like waiting. We avoid lines at the grocery store. We avoid traffic on the way to work. If someone is telling a story and boring you with details, you might tell them “Get to the good part.” Waiting is the wasteland between where we are and where we want to be. Yet, Advent is all about waiting. We wait in anticipation of Christmas morning. We wait for the arrival of a Savior.

A Savior who “became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood” as Eugene Peterson puts it in his translation of John 1:14.

It begins in Matthew 1:1-17. A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers …I know: “Get to the good part.” The truth is … this is the good part. We simply need ears to hear it.

This passage begins “a record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ.” It is important to remember that “Christ” is not a last name. Rather, it is a title. “Christ” is the New Testament word for the Old Testament word “Messiah.” Jesus, the promised Savior spoken about by the prophets. The Gospel of Matthew announces from the very start: The one we’ve waited for is here! The wait is over! And then the wasteland of waiting is outlined. Jesus’ ancestry is given to us in great detail. One by one. From Abraham all the way down to Jesus. Yet, some surprises are to be found along the way.

In this long list of names readers find four women prior to Mary: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba (listed as Uriah’s wife). To list women in the genealogy is surprising enough for a Jewish audience. Yet, if the names ring a bell the surprise is even greater.

In Genesis 38 we find Tamar’s story in which she gives birth to twins through sinful incest. In Joshua 2 Rahab is clearly identified as a prostitute. Ruth (as depicted in the book that bears her name) is poor, a widow, and a Moabite. The Moabites had a reputation among the Israelites for sexual immorality. Finally, Bathsheba is brought into the family tree through adultery and murder. Read the fascinating story in 2 Samuel 11.

Not the kind of names a good Jewish person would boast of at the beginning of a story! All of this in the genealogy of the promised Savior. What’s the big deal? Why does this genealogy matter? It is a big deal. It does matter. It gives us a front row seat to the character of God. You might ask, “Will God show up here? In my life? In this mess?” We can answer that with “absolutely.

Will God show up in my marriage?

Will God show up in my workplace?

Will God show up in my depression?

Will God show up in my addiction?

Will God show up in my frustration?

Will God show up in my failure?

Will God show up in my struggle?

Will God show up in my ordinary day?

Will God show up in my ordinary life?

Absolutely. God shows up in our brokenness. He has done it before and he will do it again.


Pastor Jeff Gravens