Sunday, December 19, 2010

Matthew 1:18–25

When the lectionary tells me I can skip a few verses, I am not suspicious. I don't ask what secret is being kept from me or what doctrine is being protected. Very likely the omitted material is totally boring, or too bloody, or repeated elsewhere, or judged to offer no nourishment to faith hungering for bread. Most likely the decision to omit was a practical one: in a three-year cycle there is not enough time to ponder every verse in the Bible. It's only this and nothing more. I am not suspicious.

But I am curious. Is someone protecting me from my Bible? Not a welcome thought. Is something being forbidden, like the one tree in the Garden of Eden? I am in no condition to proceed to 1:18 until I take a peek at 1:1–17. I know it's the fourth Sunday of Advent and Bethlehem is only a short walk away, but this is important. What's in Matthew 1:1–17?


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