Wednesday, December 21, 2011

We Wouldn't Have Christmas Without Widows

Did you know that widows played an important part of the Christmas story? 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 {ed. note--Bathsheba--} 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 is the geneology of the Christ--of Jesus! As you know, women were often overlooked, illiterate and uneducated in Bible times, but here, in the lineage of Christ Jesus, women are mentioned! They many not have seemed significant in their time and culture, but they're significant to God. He inspired Scripture to recall them from one generation to another. Have you realized that God's plan for YOU might be something that will reach to generation after generation?
2. Secondly, take a look at the struggles of these five women:
  • Four of them were widows!---Tamar, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary (Have you ever realized Mary probably became a widow, too? Joseph is never mentioned during Jesus' adult life; and while on the cross, Jesus entrusted Mary's care to John, so evidently Joseph had passed away). 
  • Two widows were foreigners---Tamar and Ruth.
  • Two knew what it was like to bear the gossip of a questionable pregnancy--Tamar and Mary.
  • Two turned to prostitution to support themselves---Rahab and Tamar.
  • One suffered an affair, the murder of her husband, and the death of a child--Bathsheba.
Life is hard! But don't lose heart with the difficulties you're going through. God knew these Bible 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! God doesn't consider a widow's life to be over, and neither should she. What surprises do you think will be in the next chapter of your life?
ferree

11 comments:

  1. I am somewhat excited to see where God will lead me in the new year. He has already opened doors for me which I had least expected. Praise God!

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  2. Wow, Ruth! I'm excited, too! I can't wait to watch the details unfold in God's timing. :)

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  3. you are a phoney! I never heard back from you nor did you place my husband's obituary in the memory line. Thankyou so much for caring...

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  4. Dear Anonymous, I'm sorry you didn't hear back from me. Sometimes it does take me a couple days. However, if it's for the memorial wall I try to post that as soon as I can, and I've posted all the ones I've received at WCplace@gmail.com. I'm so sorry for your loss and don't want to add to your pain and disappointment. Please try sending your tribute again. I'll certainly try my best to post it for you.

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  5. WOW! Please know, Feree, that we know you are not phony at all. We are human and can miss things, but to be accused of doing this or omitting this on purpose is just not the way it is.

    I've appreciated your work in this blog and the real help it provides. I hope that the person resends the information so that he/she can feel better about what has happened. Grief is hard enough work. God bless, Feree!

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  6. Thanks for your kind words, Cathi. I've tried to think of any contacts I might have overlooked, and (besides spammers) there was one a while back which was also from anonymous--but without any contact info it's impossible for me to connect with the person. Maybe that was the glitch . . .
    Blessing on you Cathi, and I hope your Christmas time is special.

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  7. Thanks for this, Ferree. And we know you aren't a phoney:).

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  8. This is a very helpful meditation and you have been very helpful and open in your caring for others. I hope the pain 'anonymous' feels becomes more bearable - I know you are certainly trying to be supportive.
    Thank you for your prayerful work, Ferree.

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  9. So nice to hear from you Athena and Wendy--and thanks for your caring. I hope you each have a special Christmas this year in spite of everything the time has held.

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