Monday, December 17, Third Week in Advent
Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before December 25. It always has four Sundays, but the total number of days can vary. For example:
If Christmas falls on a Monday, then Advent lasts three weeks and a day.
If Christmas falls on a Sunday, Advent lasts four full weeks.
Regardless of when Advent begins, every year the same Scripture readings are used for weekdays from December 17-24. The Gospels on those days describe events leading up to the birth of Christ.
December 17: The genealogy of Jesus (Matthew)
December 18: The annunciation to Joseph (Matthew)
December 19: The annunciation to Zechariah (Luke)
December 20: The annunciation to Mary (Luke)
December 21: Marys visit to Elizabeth (Luke)
December 22: Marys Magnificat (Luke)
December 23: The birth of John the Baptist (Luke)
December 24: The Benedictus of Zechariah (Luke)
Monday, December 17, Fourth Week in Advent
These are the opening words of Matthews Gospel. He begins with the basics the genealogy of Jesus. It will be a long list of 48 names stretching across 2,000 years.
Matthew wants to emphasize that Jesus is the Messiah, the long-awaited Son of David who would fulfill Old Testament prophecies. Thats why he works downward from Abraham through David, to Jesus. Luke in his genealogy starts with Jesus and works upward to Adam. He wants to emphasize that Jesus is the Son of God.
Both Matthew and Luke drew upon popular traditions (rather than written records,) and both adapted the data. They are trying to establish Jesus theological identity, not his DNA.
The list of names in Jesus genealogy includes a wide variety of people not all of them perfect by any means. Jesus family had some skeletons in the closet. Probably your family is no different. Theyre still your family.
We are about a week away from Christmas. This would be a good time to mend some family ties.