Family history is fascinating. Some of us enjoy genealogy and finding out about our relatives, the past and where family comes from. Our past certainly shapes our present identity and helps explain who we are, our interests and dispositions, the burdens we can carry, the qualities that we cherish. In the gospels of Matthew and Luke, we get a genealogy of Jesus, that goes way back. It is as much a theological statement as it is a matter of family history. Every family has some history that is joyous and positive. And every family has history that is more difficult, maybe some tragedies or a scoundrel or two if you go back far enough.
We’ve been talking these Sundays about Coming Home and how for many of us Christmas is a joyous homecoming. And yet for others, it is so difficult to come home, because of family challenges. There can be stress or conflict, financial pressures, estrangement and sometimes it is just hard to get along together. Sometimes when we come home to family we experience again the expectations placed upon us that have been burdensome. Will we get the gifts we want in our families? Here in Christmas we remember that God welcomes us into another kind of family, into God’s family. God of course is the perfect parent with the gift of perfect love for us. Sunday we will look at the genealogy of Jesus & the imperfect characters in the spiritual lineage that lead us to Jesus. We’re reminded that God loves every kind of family and works in every kind of family and family issue. We want to know than even when we’ve messed up in our families, God’s grace welcomes us, forgives us and makes a new beginning possible. We can receive the Christmas gift of a new, hopeful start. Sunday we worship together as God’s family where all of us can find the best gifts of God’s love.
Dave Summers, PhD
602.840.8360, Ext 131