Hey, everyone—I'm still out, but I'm coming home really soon! Until then, please read what Ryan Romeo has written about our current sermon series:
The New Testament begins in an unexpected way. You would think, with all the miraculous and powerful works of Jesus, that it would start with more pizazz. But no. Matthew Chapter One begins the story of Jesus with a genealogy. With the 42 generations between Abraham and Jesus. Boooring.
Not only that, but the line of relatives behind Jesus are far from spiritual rock stars. Among those listed were Judah, who slept with his daughter-in-law, Tamar, thinking she was a prostitute. Yikes. Also listed is Rahab, a gentile prostitute. And many other sordid, controversial people. All related to Jesus.
But, like with everything that God does, maybe there's more beneath the surface of this genealogy.
This week Pastor Gary Kinnaman reminded us that we are all part of a story. We all have painful and embarrassing spots in our lineage. Maybe we are in the middle of one of those times now.
But our lineage does matter. Family matters. Our family isn’t important because it’s perfect, but because it’s redeemable. That is the power of the genealogy in Matthew Chapter One. It's all of the good, the bad, and the ugly of Jesus’ family line, but it ends with Jesus. It ends in redemption.
Ephesians 1:4-5 says, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
No matter where our family history has gone off the rails—no matter how off the rails it is now—you and I were chosen for redemption. We were hand-picked before God had ever created anything at all. And he adopted us into his story of redemption. He he calls us children. At the end all of the 42 generations listed in Matthew, sits name number 43: You.
No matter what ugly stories your family has in its past, it doesn’t shock God, and it’s never beyond hope. No matter how messy and ugly it may look now, God is calling you to be the agent of redemption in your genealogy. And where God calls, he equips. You are equipped.
So shift your prayer to having hope for your family this week. Choose hope over fear and pessimism. God is able to do far more than you could ask or imagine with your family. And we can stand firm and believe this because of the redemptive story told through the genealogy in Matthew Chapter One.