Today's figure for the Jesse tree is Abraham, the Father of Believers. That doesn't mean, of course, that he was the first to believe, as we have already noted, particularly with Eve; but that he is the father of the line of believers that led to Jesus, to which other lines of people were grafted over time, as we will note in upcoming days of on the Jesse tree.
Abraham is the father in faith of three of today's religions (albeit distorted in two) and the physical father of numerous people groups which today are all quite mixed. The various branches of the Jewish religion today are a development by addition of the Old Testament, with its laws and expectation. The Muslim religion was developed from elements of both Judaism and Christianity with its own twists suited to the nomadic desert culture of the people for whom it was intended. And Christianity is the fulfillment of what Abraham believed: the Saviour was coming to his family.
Abraham had his weaknesses, but he is a shining tower of faith in most of what we know of him. Not many of us could trust God to give back a long-awaited gift if God asked it of us. We tend to think that if God gives me something then that is the end of the matter, and He couldn't possibly have any other intent than that I use/enjoy/benefit from it. To consider that He gave it so that we could give it back in faith for something better, or to grow in faith, is beyond most of us. (Consider Gideon, too: God said, "Call up your nation's troops, which Gideon did. He expected to lead the throng to victory with God's help. No problem, right? Then God said, "Send them home, except a handful." He couldn't possibly mean that, could he?) Abraham is an example to us of learning God's will, waiting patiently for it, not putting our heads through closed doors, and being able to determine the right door when two seem to be open at the same time, but really only one is proper to enter, because it is the one that God gave His word to.
Verses for today:
Genesis 11: 26- 32
Genesis chapters 12 - 25: 19, esp. vv. 12: 2, 14 - 16; 15: 2 - 6; 21: 1 - 3, 10, 12; 22: 8, 18
Psalm 105: 9
Micah 7: 20
Matthew 1: 1
Luke 3: 34
Romans 4: 2, 3
Galatians 3: 7; 4: 22 - 26
Hebrews 11: 8, 17 - 19
Galatians 3: 26 -29
Today begins the second week of Advent, the weekdays, focused on repentance and preparation for the Lord's coming.
In today's Advent calendars were this winter scene:
|Will some computer whiz fix or tell me how to fix this? It shows correctly on the file, but will not - despite all fiddling and fussing - end up in the right direction. Yesterday's had that problem, too, but fiddling fixed it, for no known reason.|
and this well known story:
English-speakers know the title character as Little Red Riding Hood, but in the old version she is Little Red Cap (velvet, no less, with no mention of cape). The point for readers to ponder is still the troubles one causes to self and others by leaving the right path, and how wolves lure us into the deep woods away from our duty. And, by the way, the girl was carrying a cake and wine in her basket to make Grandmother better when she is sick. Good comestibles will do that, right?