4 December

Go on, admit it. You saw this list, tried to read it, got as far in as ‘son of Jannai’ and skipped straight to the end. It’s the kind of reading that you’d dread having to give in church. That’s OK, I don’t think you’re alone.

I wanted to blog today because it’s my birthday. So it feels appropriate that today we start with the genealogy. Thanks to my father’s patient research I can get as far back as my great-great-great-great Grandfather, so I know how at least half of my recent family has progressed.

Luke chooses to emphasise Jesus’ family tree in his telling of the story. This, we are told today, reminds us that the salvation in the coming Messiah is for everyone…regardless. The gospel is for everyone.

Do you ever doubt that? Have you ever secretly – or openly – worried that the invitation is for everyone…except people like you?

It is the second point raised in Maggi’s commentary for today that I found the most interesting. The simple explanation that the incarnation is ‘a rescue plan for a world gone wrong’ has served me well as a theological starting point for a couple of decades. I don’t think I’d considered the idea that it was a ‘fulfilment of humanity,’ ‘an expression of God’s desire to reveal himself in such a way that we may become like him.’ In other words, I think, Jesus wasn’t born just because we are in a broken world but because God made person-shaped shows us what a perfect person was like. Jesus interacted with, ate with, cried with and celebrated with real people so that we would be able to relate to our creator God in a completely different way. Jesus understood what it’s like to be on the inside of one of these human-shaped bodies – with the need to eat, express emotion, be tired, cold or in pain. So we can be assured that he really does sympathise with us and our failings.

What do you think of this idea?
Does Luke’s grounding of the narrative in the dawn of time affect your perception of the story?

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