Advent Devotional - December 24

December 28, 2021

Matthew 1:1-17

...thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.


Lately, there seems to be a resurgence in researching one’s own family ancestry. There are companies specializing in mail-order DNA testing, claiming to identify parts of the world where others match your genetic markers. The TV show Who Do You Think You Are? takes actors on an emotional journey of unearthing significant ancestors in their family tree. In beginning with a genealogy of Jesus, the gospel of Matthew takes us on a similar journey, tracing the forefathers and foremothers of the Jesus through at least 14 generations.

In his commentary on Matthew, theologian Dr. Thomas Long reminds us that the genealogy should not be read as “a mere list, but rather as an anthology of stories, each name triggering an outpouring of memories.” These memories affirm within us that God does not haphazardly knit families together. Rather, God is present and faithful with each generation of God’s children, calling each one of us into God’s fold. The central figure of our family tree is the One long promised to us – Jesus, the Messiah.  

Our Messiah is intricately woven into the lives of ordinary and broken humans, revealing exactly who we are – beloved children in the great family of God. We celebrate today the long-awaited birth of our Savior, God’s fulfillment of our hope. We are not alone in this world. Our lives and its twists and turns are always within God’s redeeming grasp. May we find comfort in the knowledge that through Jesus, we belong to God and to one another. Hallelujah!  


God, the Father and Mother of us all, 
we give you thanks for the gift of your son, Jesus, 
who receives us into God’s family, 
redeems us, and gives us hope that in this life, 
we are known by you and the fullness of your love. Amen. 

About the Author

Rev. Kathy Lee-Cornell is the Associate Pastor for Mission and Outreach at Preston Hollow. She and her husband Alex have one son, Owen.

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