Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Widows of Christmas

I'll bet you didn't know widows played an important part of the Christmas story, did you? I've been anxiously waiting all year to share this with you! Take a look at this abbreviated opening to Matthew's account of Christ's birth:

Matthew 1:1-16 (The Message)

The family tree of Jesus Christ, David's son, Abraham's son:
Abraham had Isaac, Isaac had Jacob,
Jacob had Judah and his brothers,
Judah had Perez and Zerah (the mother was Tamar),
Perez had Hezron . . .
. . . Nahshon had Salmon,
Salmon had Boaz (his mother was Rahab),
Boaz had Obed (Ruth was the mother),
Obed had Jesse,
Jesse had David,
and David became king.
David had Solomon (Uriah's wife was the mother),
Solomon had Rehoboam,
Rehoboam had Abijah . . .
. . . Amon had Josiah,
Josiah had Jehoiachin and his brothers,
and then the people were taken into the Babylonian exile.
When the Babylonian exile ended,
Jeconiah had Shealtiel,
Shealtiel had Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel had Abiud . . .
. . . Matthan had Jacob,
Jacob had Joseph, Mary's husband,
the Mary who gave birth to Jesus,
the Jesus who was called Christ.

What's so exciting about a list of names?
1. First of all, this geneology is significant because it's one of the few that includes women. As you know, women were often overlooked, illiterate and uneducated in Bible times. And it's still that way in certain places today. But here, in the very lineage of Christ Jesus, women are mentioned! They many not have seemed significant to their local culture, but women were significant to God and deemed so important that He inspired Scripture to recall them from one generation to another. God's plan for YOU might be something that will reach to generation after generation!
2. Secondly, take a look at these five women:
  • Four of them were widows---Tamar, Ruth, Bathsheba (Uriah's wife), and Mary (according to legend and the omission of Joseph's name in later accounts of Christ's life).  
  • Two of them were foreigners---Tamar and Ruth.
  • Two of them knew what it was like to bear the gossip of a questionable pregnancy--Tamar and Mary.
  • Two of them turned to prostitution to support themselves---Rahab, (it was unusual for a woman to be single--there's a chance she had been widowed, too), and Tamar (although Tamar's was not in the usual sense, but she did disguise herself as a prostitute). 
  • One of them suffered an affair, the murder of her husband, and the death of a child--Bathsheba.
So don't lose heart with the difficulties you're going through. God knew these women, He saw their pain. He highly esteemed them, chose them, drew them to Himself, called them His own, and placed them in the powerful lineage of the King of Kings!

And He does the very same for you. The same can be said for you: God knows you, He sees your pain, He highly esteems you, He chose you, He draws you to Himself, calls you His own and places you in His own glorious family!

Galatians 4:4-7 (New Living Translation)
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.
God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.
And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”
Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

Romans 8:18 (New Living Translation)
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.
 
I pray that these truths will sink deep into the furrows of your pain this Christmas and spring forth with the sweet fruit of peace and joy. Let me know how I can best pray for you at this time.
ferree
P.S. Our Wednesday Widows Stories from now through Christmas will feature widows of Christmas. You can also go back to learn more about the women highlighted above; just click on the underlined names. 

2 comments:

  1. Each post is an encouragement to me.I know that God has a plan for me,and hearing about what others have gone through helps me to hang on.God sends His angels into my life daily,so I know He cares for me.
    Blessings,Ruth

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're an encouragement to me, too, Ruth. Step by step, day by day, with God at your side you know you're going to make it. And you'll be amazed.
    hugs and prayers, fbh

    ReplyDelete

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