Hello, Gather Friends and Family,
This Advent we’re taking a good look at Jesus’s family tree with particular interest in the grandmothers called out in Matthew 1’s genealogy. These women are some bad sisters! Last week, we spent time with Tamar, who reasserted her agency in deliciously risky ways. (See Genesis 38 if you missed it.) After being wronged by an entire family of men, she devised a brilliant—and daringly unconventional—means to correct her situation. The great twist came when she was credited with more righteousness than the patriarch who had mistreated her, even though she herself up as a prostitute to undo injustices she suffered. Daring and ingenuity are big themes in this Advent series!
Tamar’s one-off prostitution gig sets the stage for the next matriarch, Rahab. She shares many qualities with Tamar. She too is a foreign woman. She’s also “in the life”—only this time she’s not doing one-off tricks; she’s a full-fledged madam who runs a brothel. Her story also begins with supposedly “godly” men buying her services. In Rahab’s case, however, her bold quick-wittedness saves the lives of her Israelite customers. On paper, she’s the ultimate outsider: wrong gender, wrong ethnicity, wrong profession, wrong religion. Yet Matthew is very eager to bring Rahab in. And the Hebrews writer calls her name again in the famous “faith heroes” of Hebrews 11.
What’s up with Rahab? What can she teach us about faith, reputation, and finding our way in a label-obsessed world? That’s our jumping off point for this week’s Gather discussion. Join us at 7:30p CST via Zoom by clicking the button below. We’ll have a lively and enlightening conversation—promise!
With Advent’s gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love,