During my COVID respite I suddenly had time to binge-watch shows I’d missed, like “Ted Lasso” and “The Morning Show”. While I enjoyed many of them, the HBO series “Success” has become an obsession. The people in this family dysfunction saga aren’t merely hysterical. They’re cold and calculating, especially the four siblings jockeying for their billionaire daddy’s favor. Despite its polished veneer, “Succession” is raw and unnerving, with plenty of rough stuff to keep it edgy.
If, like me, you find “Succession”-style treachery and bizarre behavior fascinating, let me recommend Genesis 38. There we meet a bold and ingenious woman named Tamar, the first-mentioned matriarch in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus. She’s a foreigner who marries into a messy family and suffers greatly at the hands of ignorant men. But, like the other grandmothers listed in Jesus’s family record, Tamar is very aware of her power over men and not afraid to use everything available to her to ensure she’s treated fairly. She lives on the edge in every sense of the word.
It’s a fascinating portrait that often gets short-changed because of its R-rated content. You’ll see what I mean if you give Genesis 38 a read to find out more. You might also look at the family history recorded in Matthew 1. This Advent we’re looking closely at the four matriarchs Matthew calls out, mostly because they’re amazing characters who don’t get much air-time. But their courage and confidence also speak directly to many issues we face today—everything from “Me Too” to gender equity, from a person’s right to control her body to female empowerment in the business arena.
Click below to join our Zoom discussion this coming Thursday at 7:30p CST. You’ll be very glad you made Advent Thursdays Gather Thursdays!