With some unique, well-done humor and much warmth, we welcomed back Pastor Kevin and his family. Peggy‘s hammered dulcimer seasoned us with Christmas music, including O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, in the prelude, offertory, and communion.
Pastor thanked the church for the leadership, serving, and continuity in his absence. The Wright family read Romans 8:18-24, which tells of Creation’s eager expectation for God’s glory to be revealed through His children, and they lit the first advent candle. Our Scripture reading came from Psalm 106:3-8.
With some historical symmetry Pastor introduced Tamar, the first female mentioned in Jesus’s lineage in Mathew 1. Then many illuminating biblical story elements, facts, and perspectives were insightfully brought into focus.
Sin is Dysfunctional, and while it works poorly, it works good enough to generate itself, generationally becoming a part of how we think, see, and do things. It’s significant to see Christ as coming from this line revealed to be on this path of passing on deception and switcharoo schemes as we read about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah.
Tamar’s plight in Genesis 38 was brought to life and we learned the unusual cultural customs surrounding her situation. She was used, not loved, and abandoned by her brother-in-law and her father-in-law, who didn’t step up to be her kinsman redeemer.
The beauty of Tamar’s story is that once her father-in-law, Judah, was confronted with his egregious transgressions he admits it, saying “Enough!” and repents. This is a guy who sold his brother Joseph into slavery. But when we get to Genesis 44:33 he is offering to give himself up as a slave in Egypt in place of his younger half-brother Benjamin.
God isn’t fooled, He is in control, and in the end He won’t be mocked. We may fool others. We may delude ourselves. But God is ever aware and sovereign…and uses our deceptions and sins to:
- Foreshadow Jesus coming and the laying down of His life to save us
- Splash cold water in our faces so we see our sinfulness and can turn from it to walk righteously with God
May we see as God sees. May we confess and let go of our sins and sinful ways. May we become the more than the sum of our genetics, upbringing, and education…and become children of the living God with His glory revealed in us. Amen