by Eleanor Brakefield Wells, TND Volunteer, donor and board member of The Next Door
Five women: A woman who sleeps with her father-in-law; another is a prostitute. One marries outside her faith and is considered an outcast; still another is a married woman who is raped, leading to a pregnancy and murder of her husband. And lastly… a young teenager who finds herself as an unwed mother.
All these women lived hard lives. Lives of scandal. These women could be seen as hopeless and unworthy of love; certainly not women whose names should be remembered.
Yet, these women are listed in the genealogy of Christ as found in the first chapter of the gospel of Matthew – Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, the wife of Urriah (Bathsheba), and Mary. Women who probably have no reason to be remembered, but that they were chosen by God to be in the family of Messiah. Their stories paint a beautiful picture of the gospel – stories that lead to Hope – Redemption – Recovery – Restoration – Love.
Every day at The Next Door, women who may feel that their stories are beyond hope, find these gospel truths. Their stories (and mine) are embraced by our Savior who promises new life. Hope can be found, redemption is a reality, recovery is possible, restoration is imaginable, and love is promised.
As we celebrate the birth of Christ, let’s celebrate that we are all in need of gospel hope and love.