[This post was originally published on December 25th, 2013.]
Christmas can be an amazing and joyful time of celebration with friends and family. But for many, this holiday season can be difficult and incredibly heart-wrenching.
Whether it’s the recent loss of a loved one, or the constant reminders of one’s loneliness, or the looming new year up ahead reminding you of how another year has passed you by and your life is still not at all what you’d envisioned it’d be at this point in your life, or it feels like your family is falling apart, or it feels like you are falling apart.
You are weary. Exhausted. Hopeless. Done.
O weary soul, have I got wonderful news for you! Good news of great joy!
No matter how wrecked your home life is, no matter how messed up your family is, no matter how much you’ve failed, no matter how wrongly others have treated you, no matter how wrongly you have treated others, no matter how far gone you feel you are, no matter the choices you’ve made or what your life looks like now, no matter what, no matter what, there is hope.
There is hope for the weary soul.
Let’s take a look at Matthew 1:1-17.
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, 4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon,5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah,9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah,11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob,16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.
Quite possibly the most skimmed-over passage of Scripture, but also the most rich with hope for the weary soul when you stop and fill in the stories behind the names.
In this passage, there is incest. There is rape. There is family drama. There is murder. There is adultery. There are liars. There is cheating. There is stealing. There is barrenness. There is wandering. There are unfulfilled promises. There is evil. There are prostitutes. There is jealousy. There is hate. There is uncertainty. There is scandal. There is poor parenting. There is polygamy. There is homelessness. There is hope deferred. There is disappointment. There is destruction.
And all of this has been written into the family history of Jesus, woven together to lead to the birth of the Savior of the world.
Nothing is too far gone, nothing is too difficult, nothing is too past the point of hope for God to make beautiful in His time, and NOTHING is too far from the reach of God’s redemption.
And the birth of our Savior is proof of this.
Let this Christmas be a reminder that God is greater than our greatest shame, our deepest pain, our most chaotic relationships, and our unmet longings.
Rejoice, O weary world, for to us a Savior is born!