Monday, December 11 – Matthew 1:5
Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth, and Obed fathered Jesse.
When was a time you were welcomed by a new group of people? It is encouraging when you are new to a setting and receive warm greetings, but it is even more special when someone brings you in as a part of the group—when you go from being the new person and an outsider to a part of the group. Both Rahab and Ruth were outsiders to the people of God. They were women from different countries and cultures, and yet God not only made them part of His people, He also wrote them into the story and genealogy of the Messiah. God made them a part of what He was doing in the story of His people. He welcomed the outsiders and made them His own. Even the names of Rahab and Ruth are a testament to this, the name Rahab means “wide,” and the name Ruth means “friendship.” Together, when reading the genealogy of Jesus in order, we see God puts together wide friendship, a relationship that goes far beyond cultures or custom but includes the prostitute, the widow, and the outsiders, and brings them into the DNA of the Messiah.
God’s heart is for the outsider, but so often, especially around this time of year, we have our traditions with those most familiar and it can be hard to include others. It is wonderful to have our traditions, but what an opportunity we have to reflect God’s heart when we bring the outsiders, the widows, and the lonely into our traditions. What if our friendship grew wider this Christmas season? What if we looked for ways we could love outsiders and bring them into the joy of Christ? It may not always be easy, but it is a fitting celebration of the newborn King!
- When have you been brought into someone else’s tradition? How have you done that for someone else?
- Do you know an outsider that needs the love of Christ this Christmas? How can you bring them into your traditions?
- Pray and ask God to open your eyes to see someone who needs His love this Christmas season and to act to bring them in toward yourself and Him.
 Blue Letter Bible, s.v. “Rahab,” accessed November 28, 2023, https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h7343/kjv/wlc/0-1/; Blue Letter Bible, s.v. “Ruth,” accessed November 28, 2023, https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h7327/kjv/wlc/0-1/.