Where Did I Come From?

Readings: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Isaiah 30:19-26; Acts 13:16-25

“I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes.” Of this man’s posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised; before his coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 

Acts 13:22-24

Candles lit, prayers said, Bibles read…the Christian community of faith approaches the manger through Advent practices that keep us on the dusty road to Bethlehem. Trying our best to walk in faith through a world that celebrates Christmas as a time to acquire new clothes and an excuse to eat and drink, some of us focus on keeping Christ in Christmas rather than on something altogether obvious but often overlooked: Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t Christian. God With Us was born into and fostered by an older faith – a faith he followed devoutly as a rabbi.

With every psalm I read, with the words of the prophets in my heart, in every New Testament account of Jesus, I inherit the blessing of a faith that gave birth to my own spiritual home. The Christian tradition didn’t spring fully grown from nowhere: it was birthed by the Jewish faith as surely as Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph.

May I remember where my faith came from this Advent, and honor those who keep it.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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