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Pastor's Corner

Pastor's Corner 

11/21/17

Christmas Through Her Eyes: Tamar 

Each year during the Christmas season of Advent we take some time to focus on the meaning of Christmas. The word Advent means "coming" and reminds us that people in Jesus' day were awaiting the arrival of Messiah, anticipating his coming. For us it is the opportunity to build our anticipation of our celebration of his coming on Christmas Day. Though Advent doesn’t officially begin until December 3, we’re going to start a series a week early.

This year we're going to look at the women in Jesus' genealogy and consider what the promise of Messiah meant to them, "Christmas Through Her Eyes". It's remarkable that Matthew, a Jew who sold out his people, would include them in the genealogy of Israel's Messiah. In a patriarchal society, women were not given social standing, so their inclusion stands out. In addition, many of them were Gentile (non-Jewish) women, which makes their inclusion a theological statement about God and his Messiah.

Each of their stories is unique, but each of them transgresses social moorings. Tamar slept with her father-in-law after posing as a prostitute. Rahab is known as a harlot. Ruth was a Moabite and unclean to Jewish culture. Though not named, Bathsheba is alluded to and we all know about David’s sin against her. Then there's Mary, who though a good Jewish girl is found pregnant out of wed-lock. This makes their inclusion a statement about God's grace.

This week we start with Tamar the daughter-in-law to Judah. Her husband Er was a wicked man whom God slew. She was given then to Onan who God again slew because of his wickedness. Finally, in desperation, she portrays a prostitute and sleeps with Judah, bearing him two sons and rescuing the line of Judah from destruction.

Why is she included in Jesus' genealogy? Why is she given such honor? Why did Judah call her "righteous"? What was she fighting for? What does Christmas mean to her?

Come Sunday and find out.

~Pastor Tim