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"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice -- the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him." Romans 12:1

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Advent 1

Posted by on in Advent 2015
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We started our Advent season with a sermon on Matthew 1:1-17 -- Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham -- and we noted that by giving us this list of names, Matthew is telling us (or reminding us) of the story of God’s faithfulness throughout the Old Testament to bring about His plan of salvation through Jesus. Each of these names tell a story and remind us of how God was faithful to His covenant promises.

Throughout this Advent season, in addition to the passages we will look at on Sunday morning, I will send out a short devotion/blog based on some of the people listed in Jesus’ genealogy and their story in Scripture. And we will look at these people and their story with Romans 15:4 in mind, where Paul says, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”

In this Advent season, we will focus on that hope and we will see it shining in many different corners of Scripture. And may that hope shine in us too, as we journey through this season of waiting and longing as we await Christ’s return.

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!


Read Genesis 11:1-12:9

The shift is quick from the tower of Babel to the call of Abraham. Only a short genealogy (11:10-26) separates the two. Here, again, we are reminded of God’s faithfulness. God’s people were trying to take His place, they wanted to storm heaven and be like Him, so God scattered them across the earth and confused their language. But He did not destroy them.

Instead, God calls Abram from Harran and tells him to go to Canaan (the land He will show him) and He makes a promise to Abram. God promises that He will bless Abram and his offspring, and through them all of the nations will receive their blessing. Abram will be the conduit of God’s blessing.

And Abram obeys. Genesis 12:4 states it plainly and the rest of our reading shows Abram’s obedience. 

Matthew’s genealogy starts with Abram (or Abraham as he is later known) because through him God set aside a particular people through whom all the nations would be blessed. After the scattering at Babel, God’s call to Abraham and His covenant promise is a light of hope shining in the darkness. Rather than humans making their way to heaven, God promises a better way: through Abram His blessing will be poured out on all the nations and one day, through Abram’s descendants, He will come down to earth. 

And that light of hope (for the entire world) shines all the way back in Genesis 11 and Genesis 12

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