Ponder the weight of the past which Jesus brought into this world. Abraham, who twice claimed that Sarah was his sister in order to save his own skin. Isaac, who followed his father’s corrupt example out of the same craven fear. Jacob, the cheat, whose sons committed all manner of offenses, including selling their brother Joseph into slavery out of their invidious hatred. Rahab, a Gentile harlot. David, the murderous adulterer; Bathsheba – her tainted name does not even appear – who bathed naked in plain view while her husband fought the king’s battles. Wicked kings like Ahaz and Manasseh. Could anything good come out of such a twisted family background? But ponder also the grace and the glory of God. “Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.” Joseph, kind and just. Mary, humble and obedient. And Jesus, the anointed Savior of the world. Much can be said here, but at the least, we must affirm that God can turn a blighted past into a bright future, radiant with prospects of grace and glory.