This morning as we sang "What Child is This?" and other Christmas carols, I reflected on the season and the meaning behind it.
As the pastor approached the podium, he stated that Christmas was one of his favorite holidays. He loves everything about it; the Christmas tree, caroling, driving around at night looking at the lights, the social gatherings, etc. But what he really loves about Christmas is telling the story.
His lesson for today was "The God of History" or "His-Story". He read Matthew 1:1-17 and stated that these verses were the true meaning of Christmas.
These were his words, "Matthew begins his telling of the Christmas story not with the well-known event of an angel visiting Mary, but with a long, seemingly tedious genealogy instead. Forty-two generations are covered in this genealogy and although each generation was unique, there were common questions they all wrestled with: Is there a point to human history? Do my failures disqualify me? Can God be trusted? Matthew begins his account of the Christmas story with Jesus' genealogy not to fill space, but to answer the fundamental questions we face. And so in this genealogy Matthew reveals the God who rules history, the people who are part of God's story, and the reason we trust God with our story."
Wow! I had never thought of it that way. I can't tell you how many times I have by-passed those seventeen verses and went straight to verse 18. I will now appreciate those seventeen verses. Those forty-two generations before Jesus were people just like me with failures and sin in their lives.
Those forty-two generations made up 2,000 years. When we begin to think, does God really care about my life, my 62 years of living? The answer is "yes" He cares. He cared about those 2,000 years of people's lives. He cared about their failures. He invites us as "broken" people to be apart of His story, which is all about "grace". Bottom line, He cares about me.
We cannot judge God's character by our calendar. God may take His time, but He always keeps His word. He is always there for me. And that my story is just as important as the story of Jesus, because without Jesus I wouldn't have a story.
Now as I read the Christmas story and sing the Christmas carols, I understand that those forty-two generations is what gave us "Christmas".