Advent Devotion - Day 25


December 21, 2022

Join us through this special time of Advent as we dive deeper into the Word of God. Each day, we will pray and reflect on a different passage from Scripture. Daily Readings are from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, and reflections are written by our church staff.

Opening Prayer:

Almighty God,

It can be quite humbling to think of our role models or ancestors who have gone before us, paving a way for us to live out our lives of faith. Perhaps we even feel thankful for people we never met, but whose lives have made a difference to us. Help us to honor such faithful legacies by leaving one of our own. Help us to be motivated to leave a legacy of faith for others. They might not remember our names down through the generations. Nevertheless, let them know they are part of a chain of faith that has continuity and unity. We humbly pray, O God, that we—imperfect as we are—might give inspiration to others by the way that we place our trust in you. This we pray in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Scripture Reading:

Matthew 1:1-17 (NRSVUE)

An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, 4 and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of King David.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, who bore Jesus, who is called the Messiah.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.


The genealogy of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel is filled with names we have trouble pronouncing–and even more trouble remembering. We might wonder what significance such a list carries. One way it carries significance for me is that it reminds me that even the faith of Jesus didn’t come out of a vacuum. There had been generations of people who had trusted God and tried to live a life that attested to that faith. No one lived as faithfully as Jesus, of course, but even Jesus knew that his faith in God the Father was supported by the foundation of a long tradition of trusting in the Lord. It can be humbling to think about all those who have contributed to our faith. For some, this includes parents, grandparents, perhaps even great-grandparents. For others, perhaps their most influential role models have been people they weren’t related to at all.  

At a recent holiday gathering, my family and I talked about the fact that a few generations from now some of the descendants in the family may not remember our names. Many times, if people try to name their ancestors, they get stuck at the great or great-great grandparent level. We may or may not have someone in the family who is the keeper of the family tree. However, even if our names are forgotten, God will always remember the life of faith we’ve lived.  

God had a plan for numerous generations, regarding how divine love and salvation would finally come in fullness for us humans. God doesn’t love us by accident, but on purpose. Everything we need we find in Jesus…the way he lived, loved, died, and lives forever. The genealogy Matthew included isn’t just an explanation of blood lineage; it goes much broader and deeper than that. It even includes the shadowy parts of the family history. That speaks volumes to me. Even though where we’ve come from (and who we’ve come from) might matter to us, the only thing that matters ultimately is where we’re going in our lives of faith.

Daily Challenge:

  • What is one thing you can do to honor the memory of your role models, teachers, or ancestors this Christmas season?  
  • What can you do right now that might add to the effect of the legacy of faith you’d like to leave behind?
Today's reflection is written by:
Rev. Tim Travers

Associate Minister of Congregational Care
Church of the Servant
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