February 2, 2020
Scripture: Genesis 38:15-16
When Judah saw Tamar, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.” “And what will you give me to sleep with you?” she asked.
Thought for the Day: Is your family complicated? I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way, just complicated. Tamar’s family situation was complicated to begin with, and then she decides to trick her father-in-law into having sex with her. She did this without him realizing who it was, and to even complicate the story more, she becomes pregnant. There is a lot to unpack in that story, a lot more than is possible in this writing. Yet it is important to remember that Judah and Tamar are central figures in the genealogy found in the Gospel of Matthew. This genealogy shows the lineage of Jesus. I find it comforting and a bit liberating to think that Jesus came from a complicated family… one that might even be a bit more complicated than my own. Equally important is to remember how Tamar finds a way. Jewish writers have often described her as having unconventional wisdom. I like that language, as it describes many of the faithful who made a way when there did not appear to be a way. Tamar might not be a model we invite our children to use, but it remains a helpful story of how God continues to utilize complicated families and unconventional wisdom.
Prayer: With all the issues I got, alongside all the issues my family has, I look to the stories of scripture and realize how well I fit in your family, Holy God. Thank you for making me feel welcome and revealing to me a purpose in spite of complicating factors. Amen.
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Rev. Bruce Frogge