Today we have another genealogy of Jesus, from Matthew 1:1-17.
Three sets of fourteen names. From Abraham to Jesus. Some of them – Abraham, Isaac, David, Solomon, Ruth – names from familiar stories. Others less familiar – Zerubabbel, Eliakim, Jeconiah, Azor.
Ok, I can confess to being like Claire and Sara – if I don’t skip the names, then I might at least tune out when I hear someone else reading them. Unfair – as each of them played their part in the story that led to Joseph being engaged to Mary and heading off to Bethlehem.
Maggi helps us understand why this matters. Yesterday’s genealogy looks back to Adam; today’s looks forward to Jesus. And each of those names – the Patriarchs – are the basis for the first candle in the Advent wreath we see in many churches.
For many of you, the Advent wreath will mean this video:
But if you stop and think about the Patriarchs, you realise that the Jewish people were always looking forwards to the coming of Jesus. Just as we look forwards to remembering that first coming at Christmas – and the second coming that is to come. Again, I think through to the prayers we say every Sunday:
Christ has died
Christ is risen
Christ will come again
We pray this firmly – not just a statement of hope – but of firm belief. And we remember those Patriarchs who prayed for the first coming of a Messiah – and remember that until Christ was born, he could not die.
Maranatha – come, Lord Jesus.