In December of 2019, we did a sermon series reflecting on the four women mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus birth. Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba. If you grew up in the church, you already know that each of these stories is nuanced, complicated and messy. There is a tendency in all of us to look away from things that are messy. It is just easier to avoid hard things than to face them head on. In this series, we resisted this urge and dove headlong into the mess. The result was a beautiful and powerful series that perhaps deserves a second listen … and maybe even deserves to be shared with a friend. Enjoy.
2 Samuel 11:1-17. The fourth woman mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus is “the wife of Uriah” (Bathsheba), who became the mother of Solomon. The story of David and Bathsheba is messy and hard to look at. It is a story that reminds us that we need to speak truth to power.
Ruth 1:1-17. At face value, the story of Ruth is already beautiful and deeply moving. But when read against the backdrop of Jewish laws that forbid intermarriage and placed harsh rules on any children born of a “forbidden marriage” the story is even more powerful.
Joshua 2:1-24. Rahab the harlot. That’s the name most of scripture ascribes to her. But rest assured! Rahab is far more than this name lets on. She is fierce, compelling, assertive and deeply loved by God … and her story has much to teach us.
Matthew 1:1-17, Genesis 38:6-30. In Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus’ birth, we meet Tamar, the mother of Perez and Zerah. On the surface, her story is messy and sordid and seems an unlikely one to include in Jesus’ genealogy. But a closer reading reveals great strength, beauty and justice.