The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ. 

One of the central truths of the Christian message is that God is always faithful to his promises.   He will never revoke his plan of salvation; it will come to pass despite the “low points” that seem to signal otherwise.   We see this truth most clearly in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ genealogy. Jesus’ birth came about despite a family line that included murderers, spies, and exiles.   None of their sins derailed God’s plan or caused him to break his promises.

One of the brightest lights in this genealogy is King Hezekiah, who ruled the Israelites seven hundred years before Christ was born.   After the disastrous and idolatrous reign of his father, Ahaz, Hezekiah called his people back to the worship of the Lord God and him alone.   He repaired the Temple, which had been damaged in a siege, and abolished the worship of the gods of the Gentiles.   What is most impressive is the way Hezekiah listened to the prophet Isaiah and miraculously averted an invasion by the powerful Assyrian army (Isaiah 36-37).

By contrast, Hezekiah’s grandson Amon stands as a low point in the line of Christ.   Amon “did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. . . . He served the idols . . . , and did not walk in the way of the Lord” (2 Kings 21:20, 21, 22).   Under Amon, the sacred text of the Torah was burned, and pagan images were once again set up for worship.   According to Jewish tradition, spiderwebs came to cover the altar through its disuse.   Yet even in the midst of all this sin and unfaithfulness, God remained faithful. He continued to work patiently to bring his plan to fulfillment.

Whether your Advent was been a peaceful, blessed time or a frenzied race, God remains faithful.   He is continuing today the plan that he started centuries and centuries ago: a plan to bring each of us—including you—into his presence forever.

Never forget that God is faithful!   He will help you as you struggle to find time for prayer and as you strive to follow his commandments.   He is always with you, always faithful to his promises to teach you, to bless you, and to guide you.

Word Among Us

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