God was planning “Christmas” long before the day came.  In fact his plan to redeem humanity was designed in eternity past.  However, when we read the stories and get lost in the traditions, we can easily forget that many people were involved in carrying out God’s plan for salvation.  In the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew we have the genealogy of Jesus.  Typical ancient genealogies only listed men.  However, Matthew lists five women that were part of the lineage of Jesus.  When we discover their stories in the Bible we find that four of them were not part of the nation of Israel, two of them would be called women of ill-repute, one them was the victim of a powerful man, and the only Israelite in this unique list was a teenager.  We will be looking at each of their stories this Advent season and we will discover the grace, love, compassion, and protection of our God.  If this Advent season you find you are feeling forgotten, or alone, or neglected we invite you to join and discover for yourself that God really does love and care for you as shown through his gift of Jesus whose lineage includes five women who were loved and cherished by God.