Origin stories matter.
I grew interested in comic books around fifth grade. I quickly learned that the superhero origin story was a big deal. If a new hero appears on the scene, you want to know where she came from and how she got her powers. Famous origin stories include Superman rocketing from the doomed planet, Krypton, to become Earth’s mightiest hero (Action Comics #1), or wallflower Peter Parker being bitten by a radioactive spider to become Spider-Man (Amazing Fantasy #15).
Our four authorized life stories of Jesus, the Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), all tell a Jesus origin story. But all tell slightly different stories. This doesn’t mean that they contradict each other as some skeptics assume. Rather, each highlights different aspects of the Jesus story or approaches it from a different angle. Some mention Jesus’s childhood while others skip to adulthood. Each origin story can help us appreciate Jesus even more.
Advent is a Christian worship season that revisits Jesus’s origin story, not so we get lost in sugary sentimentality about a haloed baby, but in order to better prepare us to meet Jesus face to face. In other words, Advent prepares us for Jesus’s future arrival (his “second coming”) by remembering his first arrival. This December we are exploring each Gospel’s origin story.
We began Sunday with Matthew’s genealogy (or family tree) of Jesus. If you missed it, I suggest listening online for all the details. In short, Matthew uses the family tree to show how Jesus continues the Old Testament story of God and Israel. But he also uses the family tree to say that the arrival of Jesus is good news, not just for people long ago in the Middle East, but for everyone - even today. Jesus’s origin story means our story can be part of God’s story. What better way to start Advent than to stand back in awe and wonder at what God has done to bring us all into his family through Jesus?
I hope you’ll join us Sunday for round two with the Gospel of Mark!
By the way, I’d love your input as I prepare for a special January message series. Take this quick and anonymous survey.
Quest Church: A Community of Grace meets for two worship services: 9am(traditional) and 10:30am (modern with concurrent Kids Quest worship)