Advent calendar reflection for 17 December

Head and shoulders shot of woman in headscarf.


“A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham.” 

Matthew 1:1

Our eyes may perhaps glaze over as we listen to this apparently dry genealogy, full of unfamiliar names. However, behind each name is a story, and there are surprises in this list of Jesus’ ancestors, not least the inclusion of five women, four of whom are not Jewish. 

In the mix of the familiar and obscure figures in Jesus’ family tree, the outcasts and the wronged, we are reminded of the fundamental value of each person to God.  

As we ponder Matthew’s genealogy, we are reminded of the dignity intrinsic to every person. We think of the stories behind names we have come to know this Advent. Of Nomita who, despite living with the extremes of the climate crisis in Bangladesh, has still managed to ensure that her children are fed and educated and that her small house, vulnerable to storms and cyclones, remains standing. 

The last fourteen names in Matthew’s list are found nowhere else in the Bible. They may be ordinary people, like you and me, who nevertheless are part of the story of God entering human history. This Advent may we recognise the value of each person and strive to ensure their dignity is upheld. 

Advent prayer

Christ Jesus, you entered our human story.
Write your story in our hearts.
Let our words and our actions witness
to the dignity and value of each member of the human family.


Pray the Our Father with us, while you hear it spoken in many different languages, and remember that we are all part of one human family.  

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