These four women — Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba — have something in common. They are all grandmothers in Jesus’s family tree. Affairs, prostitution, lies — these women had plenty of mess in their lives. But God chose them — four broken women — to be named in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1. Their crowns symbolize not only their place in Jesus’s royal line, but also the grace and love of our Creator and Redeemer. Ann Voskamp describes this powerful grace (from The Greatest Gift, pg. ix):
The family tree of Christ startlingly notes not one woman but four. Four broken women — women who felt like outsiders, like has-beens, like never-beens.
Women who were weary of being taken advantage of, of being unnoticed, and uncherished and unappreciated; women who didn’t fit in, who didn’t know how to keep going, what to believe, where to go — women who had thought about giving up. And Jesus claims exactly these who are
And worn out
He grafts you into his line and his story and his heart, and he gives you his Name, his lineage, his righteousness.
May we walk forth this day, this Advent, this new year with new eyes to see grace in more beautiful ways, to give grace to others, and to receive grace from God.
To God be the glory.
Amen and amen.