Advent Devotional: Week One - Tuesday

Scripture Reading: Matthew 1:1-17

Like us, Jesus was born with parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. In fact, Jesus’ family line stretched all the way back to King David and even as far back as Abraham and Adam. Matthew (in Matt 1:1-17) makes a point of showing us who Jesus’ family is because of the words of God in the book of Isaiah that spoke of Jesus as a “shoot from the stump of Jesse.”

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. (Isaiah 11:1-2)

Have you ever watched a gardener working with her plants? Or have you ever picked up a piece of grass or a plant and seen the roots? Usually they are hidden, but they are very important to the life of a plant or tree. Often we speak of our ancestors as our “family roots." Jesus had family roots as well that were hidden in the soil of the Old Testament, which Matthew uproots to show us. Why are Jesus’ family roots important? Why does it matter that his line stretched back to King David, Abraham, and even Adam?

Prayer: Father of All Creation, when we think about your plan, the way you revealed it to your people generation after generation, the way you made promises that only you could keep and then kept them in ways that are far beyond our understanding, we are amazed. What a wonderful God you are! What an amazing God you are! What a loving God you are! What a promise-keeping God you are! Thank you that you cared for us when we didn’t care about you. Thank you that you continue to care about us, continue to keep your promises to us, and continue to accomplish your great plan in and through us. Thank you for continuing to do what you said you will do. Help us to trust you more and more.

Advent Singing: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming

From tender stem hath sprung! Of Jesse's lineage coming As men of old have sung. It came, a flower bright, Amid the cold of winter When half-gone was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it, The Rose I have in mind; With Mary we behold it, The virgin mother kind. To show God's love aright She bore to men a Savior When half-gone was the night.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender With sweetness fills the air, Dispels with glorious splendor The darkness everywhere. True man, yet very God, From sin and death He saves us And lightens every load.

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