About halfway through my Thankful list in the month of February on Facebook, I decided to do an ABC’s of Christmas. I about talked myself out of it, but have recently been encouraged by Ginger Lobdell’s writings to stop putting things off and dive in, insecurities and all. A while back we were at a Christian concert and one of the things they said was, “a writer’s gotta write”. I do love to write, so I’m going to give it the old college try.
A is for ancestors. I have wondered at the reason for the genealogies in the Bible many times in my life. I can’t even pronounce many of the names and, because of that, have difficulty keeping up with their place in history and the significance of their personal story.
Recently, we have been studying “The Story”, written by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee at church. It tells how God’s upper story is woven with the lower (earthly) story of mankind. A few weeks ago we studied about Ruth, who is on the list of Christ’s ancestors. Ruth was a foreigner that married into the tribe of Israel when she married Boaz, who was the son of a prositute.
This sparked my curiosity and I begin to investigate further. As I looked again in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 at the genologies of Christ in a new light, the one thing I noticed (about all the ones I know something about), is that Jesus wasn’t born into a family who had “arrived” spiritually.
Jesus’ ancestors were chosen by God to be the greatest nation on earth. However, upon closer inspection, even this family of Biblical heroes of the faith was in dire need of a Savior. You see, Jesus came from a line of people whose lives and families are full of sin and disfunctionality. There are murderers, adulterers, liars, a man who helped sell his brother into slavery, a woman who tricked her father-in-law into sleeping with her, prostitutes, etc., in his linage.
I believe that maybe one of the reasons God included Jesus’ geneology was to show us that He sent His son into the midst of a family we would be embarrassed by. Think of it this way, had Christ been born into a family of “saints”, who lived neat and clean lives, we wouldn’t be able to relate to him or, even more likely, we wouldn’t believe He could understand or accept where we have come from. There would be no commonality, no connection. Christ’s family story confirms for us, that no matter what we have done, He’s seen it all. He understands.
With all the sin that is told in these Old Testament stories, an even more significant truth is found amongst the lives of these same people. The second half of Acts 13:22 tells us that God said the following of David, who committed many of the sins listed above, “…‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’” (NIV) Woven through the family that came before David, and those that came after David’s death, is a faithfulness to God. Men and women who longed to have a personal relationship with Him. Men and women that understood forgiveness. Men and women who accepted that forgiveness and strove to be faithful. Men and women whose desire to know and please God produced a couple that would help God bring into this world, a baby, who would ultimately become the Savior to our broken and hurting world.
Jesus so completely understands our story that He gave His own life as a payment for our sins so that we might be saved. We all need that same Savior, that same kind of salvation. A salvation that bridges the chasm of sin to reconnect us to God. John 3:17 tells us, “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge [condemn] the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” [NASB]
Sin, redemption, a longing to be faithful and to be a women “after God’s own heart”… that is my story. The gift God sent to me and you, over 2,000 years ago, never ceases to blow. me. away.
Throughout this Christmas Season, I pray that you too are full of wonderment at what God did by sending His Son into the world, amidst the fallen, that He could redeem the world through His death and resurrection.