For most of us, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree to decorate. Whatever your preference, a wide tree or a tall tree, tinsel or ornaments, colored lights or white ones, the Christmas tree holds a special place in each home. In Chapter 1 of the Gospel of Matthew, we discover a colorful Christmas tree of a different sort, the ancestral family tree of Jesus Christ himself. Hung against the backdrop of 52 generations of patriarchs from Abraham to Joseph, are four Christmas Belles: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Mary. These four women of various races, social classes, and life circumstances are all part of the pedigree of Jesus. From amidst the confusion, grief and pain in each of their lives is born redemption. Each of their lives sounds forth one of the Advent Themes of Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace. This Advent, we will let the stories of these Christmas Belles ring out as we prepare our hearts for birth of Christ the King.
|November 29||Genesis 38||Tamar, Canaanite Widow||Hope|
|December 6||Joshua 2||Rahab, Canaanite Prostitue||Joy|
|December 13||Ruth 1-4||Ruth, Moabite Widow||Love|
|December 20||Luke 1-2||Mary, Jewish Virgin||Peace|