Advent Devotional, Dec. 21: “Like A Box of Chocolates” by Kenneth L. Samuel
“Momma always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
This famous line from Forrest Gump rings true for many of us. Life is not all sweet and smooth. Life is embedded with stubborn nuts and a host of unpleasant ingredients hiding beneath the outer coating.
Any authentic appraisal of life has got to take the good, the bad and the ugly into full account.
The writer of Matthew’s gospel must have had this in mind when in recalling the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the writer pointedly calls our attention to one of the great scandals in that genealogy. The writer deliberately interrupts the flow of patriarchal enumeration to say that one of the greatest patriarchs—indeed the patriarch with whom Jesus is most closely associated—fathered a son with another man’s wife.
Notwithstanding King David’s pervasive veneration in Jewish culture, the writer of Matthew does not skip or gloss over the fact that King David’s adulterous affair with Uriah’s wife is what gave birth to another great king of Israel, Solomon.
What a mixed box of chocolates!
Does adultery erase David’s greatness?
Does America’s original sin of slavery nullify its moral fiber?
Does scandal in Jesus’ genealogy and the scandal attached to his unusual birth make him less worthy of our devotion?
Does the commercialism of the Advent season render its meaning null and void?
Or . . .
Does God work through all of our human flaws and dysfunctions to move us toward the Light . . . in spite of ourselves.
An old preacher once told me that God can use a crooked stick to draw a straight line.
God, may your strength be made perfect in our weakness.
United Church of Christ Stillspeaking Devotional Published by Pilgrim Press. Shared with permission of the publisher.