This Advent, we will be looking at the women Matthew included in Jesus’ genealogy. In those days it was very uncommon for a woman to be included in one’s pedigree, but there are five mentioned, all of whom were known historical figures to Matthew’s audience. Each of these women, Tamar included, has a story that was intentionally highlighted in the very beginning of Matthew’s proclamation of Jesus, and by knowing the stories of these women, we also gain a better understanding of the character and purpose of Christ. I am really looking forward to this Advent series. Last year when Brandy was doing BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) with our kids, they were going through Genesis in rather great detail. She often commented on how messed-up and graphic some of the stories were and what “fun” it was to try to explain them to a bunch of naive but very curious and giggling children. I was particularly reminded this week about when she had to go through the story of Tamar. If you are familiar with the story, you know it contains all kinds of sexual dysfunction and pretty clearly answers—or at the very least raises—the question of where babies come from.
In the end, when you understand the story of Tamar, you see a beautiful example of God’s redemption in the midst of a woman’s bold fight for justice, but there is a lot to wade through along the way.
I mentioned to Brandy that we would be looking at Tamar’s story this first week of Advent and was considering if we should give parents a heads up about the “adult” content in case their children are normally in worship with them. Her immediate reply was an emphatic, “Yes!” as she relived her experience trying to explain the text to our kids last year.
So, parents—heads up! If it is normal for you to have your children attend service with you, please make sure to read the story of Tamar (Genesis 38) before Sunday, November 30th, and decide accordingly what would be best for your children during that time. If they do attend with you, you should know that the sermon is amazing and does a beautiful job of shedding light on a disturbing passage of Scripture. I am also confident you will feel well-equipped for any subsequent questions or conversations that may arise after the sermon.