December 25, 2006, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

Christmas: for ‘good’ people or for sinners?

Pastor Lyndon Korhonen, Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Cokato

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Those musical lyrics have been wafting through the stores and in our homes lately. We welcome them, but who really welcomes the message of Christmas the most?

Is it the people who try to live good lives on their own, or those who feel they have failed God’s standards?

Now, I don’t make a habit of reading genealogies, but as I was reading Matthew Chapter 1, I noticed something quite interesting in regard to the ancestors of Jesus according to his human line.

The line is traced through the male side, such as Abraham, father of Issac, the father of Jacob, etc. But three out of four times, when the mother is mentioned in the record, it has to do with the failure of man.

In verse 3, Judah had failed to give his youngest son to be Tamar’s husband (after the other two sons were put to death for wickedness). Tamar dressed up like a harlot, and her father-in-law unknowingly had twin sons with her. Yet, these names appear in the human genealogy of Jesus!

Secondly, in verse 5, you find the name of Rehab. She was the prostitute that hid the two spies before Joshua came to take Jericho. She and all her family were spared because they helped Israel. Rehab became part of Israel and married Salmon, who is listed in the genealogy of Jesus!

Thirdly, in verse 6, you find “David, the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife.” David committed adultery with Uriah’s wife and had Uriah killed. David’s child from this sinful union died. Yet, later, Bathsheba and David gave birth to Solomon, who is in the genealogy of Jesus!

If you ever thought you have to be especially good to really appreciate Christmas, perhaps these moral figures are included in the genealogies for you!

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Jesus didn’t come through a lineage of all “good” people, nor did he come for “good” people. He came for sinners.

Don’t think you miss out on the joy of Christmas because of some sin of this past year. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The joy of Christmas is that a Savior has been born to remove our sin. If we confess and repent of our sins, there is forgiveness.

Rejoice that you and I have a Savior. That is why it is the most wonderful time of the year!

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