Todays Readings: Matthew 1; Psalms 74

Generations. Life.  Family.

Last week, I had the fortune to celebrate my birthday and one of my main presents was a surprise visit from my younger brother Cameron. We have had the chance to talk, celebrate, eat, and fellowship this past week. It has given him a chance to interact with my kids and they have truly enjoyed each moment with him. He has had the chance to put the kids to bed, pick them up when they wake, take them to school and dance class, go swim class, and listen to them read their books. He has had a chance to experience my life and a part of our legacy.

As I read Matthew Chapter 1, I remember skimming through the first part and rushing to the birth of Christ.   I love the Christmas story, but God again has been teaching me as I grow how to slow down and listen to the parts that I have overlooked before. I have a renewed appreciation for the litany of names and linage of Christ.

Matthew 1: 1-18

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram,[a] and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph,[b] and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos,[c] and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,[d]and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

At first I only see names and father of… , but now I see the people and the overall connection. These particular people are the direct influence of Christ. The prayers, songs, hymns, traditions that were the beginning of the Judaism faith were directly passed down through father to son. The initial sacraments and traditions and scriptures were directly passed to Christ. This is truly amazing for me to imagine. This is the essence of our beliefs. We have the bible inspired by the Holy Spirit, but Christ in human-form had a tactile and visceral experience.

Through this list of names and people, God is showing us that He has the ability to do great things with ordinary and extraordinary people; saints and sinners; good and evil people. Sometimes in our lives we question if God is purpose is being fulfilled through us, but we have to be confident that the Holy Spirit is using us for His Glory if we are willing to be used. From my grandmother I learned songs, hymns, and learned a passion for the Scriptures. By example, I sing, pray, and share the joy of the Scriptures with my children daily.

God, we pray that the influences that we have been given through family and experiences may be used for your Glory to be influences on the next generation, as they may know you better. Amen