Lord Jesus, I bow before Your manger today to worship You, our God come to us in the flesh!
Read MATTHEW 1:1-25
 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,  Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram,  Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon,  Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,  and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,  Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,  Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah,  Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,  Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah,  and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.  After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,  Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor,  Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Eliud,  Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob,  and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.  Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.  This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.  Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”-which means, “God with us.”  When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.  But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat astonishing news did the angel give Joseph?
This family tree and background is not something for an aspiring family to be proud of. There’s Tamar, Judah’s daughter-in-law, whom he wronged and treated as a prostitute; Rahab, foreigner and brothel-keeper; Ruth, another foreigner; Bathsheba (not named), seduced by King David. There are “black sheep” and plenty of fodder for the tabloids. It is extraordinary that God should use such women to play a central role in his plan of salvation.
But they were extraordinary women. Tamar, determined to show her father-in-law the depth of his injustice (Gen. 38); Rahab, prepared to risk her life to protect two of Joshua’s spies (Josh. 2); Ruth, prepared to travel to Bethlehem with her widowed mother-in-law to care for her (Ruth 1); and Bathsheba, a determined wife to King David (2 Sam. 11). Some family this! God now brings into this already extraordinary family a virgin, Mary, who accepted God’s purpose for her life, wonderfully supported by her betrothed, Joseph. This Christmas you may look at your family and wonder what on earth he is doing with them. Remember: God can use any family who’s willing to be used!
Bring your family to Christ and ask them to discover what it means to be the person God wants them to be.
Lord God, thank You that You can use any family to fulfill Your purposes. Use mine, I pray.