Advent 2020 Reflection – Day Sixteen
Day 16 – Matthew 1 15 – 16
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
Today we continue with the lineage of Jesus coming to his earthly parents. It is a fact of life that we all have parents although our experience of our relationship with them varies considerably. Some good and some not so good. We do not hear much about Joseph in the gospels and nothing at all after the visit to the temple when Jesus was 12. Mary is in contrast by his side during much of his ministry and present at his crucifixion and death.
I can only speak to my own experience and that is a very positive one of loving parents who brought me up in a loving home and who were instrumental in introducing me to God and developing and encouraging that relationship with him.
It is always interesting to me that in moments of either great joy or great stress it was always my Mum that I wanted to ring to share joyful news or unburden my pain with. I guess we all perhaps have that tendency to be closer to our mothers as our fathers tend to have been the one who worked and certainly again in my case I was working in London with long hours and a long commute meant time with my own children was limited. As parents we give ourselves to help our children to be the best that they can be seeing them through difficult times in particular. It is to this sacrifice and concern that we are called as disciples to love others as our families. Regardless of our own experience of family we have an example in God of a loving parent who wants to have a relationship with his children and for them to be equally caring for their brothers and sisters in Christ
In our silence today we remember those who have been parents to us in our Christian journey. They may be our own parents or those who have nurtured us in our Christian journey.
I have chosen as our carol today a new one which is not in the hymn book. Ros and I were going to record this, indeed we did but alas our efforts were not up to standard and so I include a video rendition from YouTube. This carol speaks into the relationship that Mary has with Jesus. In all of the ministry of Jesus we hear in the carol we can imagine that Mary was perhaps not aware of what would happen but would not have been surprised by that ministry as she had been told by the angels of her sons place in the world. He is the great I Am.
Loving God, we pray for all parents. May You fill their hearts with hope and take away any fear. We pray for ourselves as we act as parents within your church seeking to share the Good News of your coming into the world with all who will listen. Help us to be as loving and giving as the perfect parent you are.
Lord as we think of your perfect parenting we remember those who long to be parents and yet have not been able to be. We remember those whose experience of parents has not been a good one. We remember and confess those times when we have not always been the best parents we could be.
Lord, through your Holy Spirit empower us to share our love as you share your love with us. Help us to see that like Jesus, as we follow him, we also walk where angels have trod and that in each person we see, we see God. Amen
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