The Gospel Reading today is a difficult read because of the names mentioned in it. But the names are important because it shows:
- The coming of Jesus is the fulfillment of Jacob’s prophesy in the First Reading.
- Jesus became man and did not just sprout from the air. He had ancestors. This shows the love of Son of God to take on human flesh to be one with humanity.
- The ancestors of Jesus were not perfect. Which stresses the fact that Jesus did not come to a perfect world, but one that has problems, is sinful and chaotic and at times, unfaithful to God.
The genealogy of Jesus is divided into three parts: from Abraham to David, from David to the exile and from the exile to the birth of Jesus. The part from Abraham to David was one that showed how the line of David rose from the anonymity of Abraham to the height of David’s kingdom. The part from David to the exile shows how from such heights, the kingdom descended to its lowest point, even to losing the land that was promised. It was a time of shame, of darkness and of a sense of God’s absence. The part from the exile to the birth of Jesus shows the silence of God. These men, except for a few, were unknown. It is from this silence that Jesus entered time and space.
God works in silence and God is seen in the silence. During the darkest time in their history, God was still present with Judah, reminding them of his promises and of what he will do. With the birth of Jesus the promises of God are fulfilled completely.
In these days of pandemic, we may be like Israel that was dispersed and lost to the nations. We may be like Judah, uprooted from what is comfortable. But through these, God is still present. While nobody may know us, while we may not matter to others, we matter to God. He knows everyone by name. In the genealogy of Jesus, everyone listed is known to God, even those who have nothing written about them.
This Christmas is different from previous years. This is will be quieter. We may not have many or even any parties to go to. Some may feel God has abandoned them and has left them. But we take courage that God’s Word is always fulfilled. It is in the silence that we can see and recognize God moving in our lives. When it is dark and silent, when it fells everyone has abandoned us, it is then that God will move and reveal himself.
Lord, be with me in the silence. When I feel afraid, or alone, or abandoned, let me cling to your Word which gives light in this darkness and silence. Let me recognize you in the darkness. Come and enter my life and give it light.