Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

One of the hazards of reading Scripture in church is messing up Biblical names.  Especially when there are a lot of them, and today’s Gospel (Matthew) is the worst.  Over half of it is nothing but a list of Biblical names. 

Not exactly exciting reading.  Especially if you don’t know who they are.  But who they are is exactly why the list is there.  Not because they are examples of perfect people, but because they aren’t. 

If you look at the names, you see about half of the major characters in the Old Testament.  Including most of the truly messed-up ones - thieves and murderers, con artists and cowards, harlots and abusers.  The point of all of this?  This is the family tree of Jesus. 

Whatever is going on in your life, there’s someone who dealt with the same thing in Jesus’ family.  Which means, no matter what you’re dealing with, Jesus gets it.  Because He’s got the same problems in His family too. 

"God with us" is a lot more than just a name. 

More on this tomorrow.  Readings for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary