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Pastor Motz
Pastor John Motz

Waiting for Christmas

(by John Motz, pastor)

"This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah…" Matthew 1:1
Often at this time of year we are drawn to the stories of Jesus' birth found in the Gospels (Matthew and Luke in particular). As one opens the Gospel of Matthew, the first thing you notice is that it doesn't start with the birth account, but rather a long and challenging genealogy spanning roughly 2000 years and numerous names one doesn't recognize and can hardly pronounce. For us, it is a difficult way to begin the story, often we skip over it because, well, because we can.
Perhaps instead of skipping over it to get to the good part, we should pause and ask what might we learn from the way Matthew begins his story. Maybe there is something of a message in this odd beginning. In the re-reading of this account we might notice that God is faithful, but not always fast with His answers. It starts with Abraham and goes on (and on) until finally it concludes with Jesus. Promises made to Abraham (and many of his decedents) are finally coming to fulfillment in this story Matthew is beginning to tell. One of the hardest aspects of the life of faith is that challenge of......waiting: we want answers now; we want solutions now; we want to trust God, but struggle when we have to wait. News flash: God is faithful, but His timing is not always our timing.
A second message might be that we ought not rush into Christmas, rather it is worth waiting for and preparing for. The commercialism of our celebration works against us here when instead of getting ready spiritually for His peace, we are panic stricken because we don't have enough time to get everything done. This too lends credence to the season of Advent, the 4 weeks prior to Christmas designed to both heighten our anticipation and deepen our appreciation of the Gift of Christmas. Between now and Christmas each Sunday worship service will be designed to help us take time, to consider His gifts, to prepare our hearts for what truly should be the best day of the year; the day we celebrate God’s gift of Jesus to us.
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