The Family Tree
This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham.
About this time every year I search the web for any updates on my ancestry. I’m the guy that watches those commercials for ancestry.com and the DNA kits with great interest, but I’m too cheap to actually invest in them. This may have something to do with the enjoyment of mining my own research as much as the displeasure of paying someone else to do it for me.
So far, I’ve focused on my father’s family since I know the least about them. His dad, my grandfather, completely reoriented the family line when he left West Virginia to set up a new life in Western Kentucky. I remember my great-grandparents visiting us twice, and I would have enjoyed a greater number of days in addition to those. They were from a poor coal-mining background and yet had the brightest smiles and contagious sense of humor. They spoke in a mountain dialect that my grandmother called “a brogue,” pronouncing “r’s” almost like a ”w” and saying “new” when they meant “no.” I marveled at how my 91 year old great-grandfather who suffered from “black lung” after years of underground mining could also smoke 2 or 3 unfiltered Pall Mall cigarettes every day—and eat bacon to boot. He was the stuff of legends! It was as if an empty bourbon barrel had taken human form. That was my great-grandfather.
If you read the scriptures, you will see that genealogies are an important part of the Bible. This weekend we will look at two of those genealogies. The interesting thing is that both of the genealogies deal with the coming of Jesus to earth. These are called “The Birth Narratives” of Matthew and Luke. More interesting still, the genealogies are presented differently in each of those gospels. As we begin our Christmas series of messages, Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas? we will look at these two storytellers of the birth of Jesus. Each gospel was first read by a specific audience which the genealogies will help us consider.
I love the Christmas time as we reconnect with family not regularly seen. It reminds me that I’m connected to a much larger story. As we visit this Christmas with the ancestors of Jesus, may that same refreshing reconnection take our hearts to the larger story that the Creator Himself is telling.