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Genealogies and Christmas

“Christmas and Genealogies” (Matthew 1.1-17; Luke 3.23-38; John 1.1-3)

8th Day of Advent

December 4, 2022

Happy 2nd Sunday of Advent

Genealogies remind me that family histories are critically important. We do not stand alone. We stand where we are today because of those who have stood in their places before us. They are the ones who gave us life. We have our place because they had their place. The generation following us is the generation that has life because of us. We each are special. No one else can take our place.

The genealogies of Christmas remind me that I have a special place in God’s plan. I am a link between my parents and my children. Vicki and I lead the way to the next generation in our family. That makes us special. REALLY. That makes every generation SPECIAL.

Genealogies remind us that if it were not for us there would be no next generation. If it were not for our parents, we would not be parents of the next generation. Each generation was a link in the birth of our Savior.

If we understand our place in the work of God, then it would be our goal to teach and remind our children (Jennifer, Bethany, and Jonathan) those same truths so that they, too, would understand how important they are in God’s plan.

That was my parent’s mission.

You might ask, “Isn’t this just basic biology – one generation follows another?” Yes, but it is more than that.

It is basic biology, but this is also God’s biology. The genealogies of Jesus were God’s plan to bring His Son into the world. In the very same way, He will work out His plans through our own generations. That is why the apostle Paul reminds of this truth in Ephesians 3.15; “from whom every family in heaven and on earth drives its name.” Generations and genealogies are God’s way of doing business, and that makes my work as a parent in my generation and my family God’s business. REALLY. That makes your work in your family God’s business.

Matthew, Luke, and John each want us to know that Jesus’ genealogy is important. He was a real man in the histories of His generations, but He was also God’s Son in the unfolding history of God’s plan to redeem mankind.

Isn’t that what we each would want for our lives? When time on this earth as we know it is finished, wouldn’t we want to be known for being a critical link in the generation that carries the torch for God in our day? Wouldn’t we want our children to be known for being a critical link that carries the torch for God in their day? Wouldn’t we want our grandchildren to be known as that generation that carries the torch for God in their day?

I think that Paul may have had that very thought in his mind when he noted in his great prayer of Ephesians 3 that it is from God that “every family in heaven and on earth derives its name” (Ephesians 3.14,15).

That was precisely Joseph’s concern when he addressed his sons and the 4 generations following them (Genesis 50.22-24).

When I read my Bible each year, I am always tempted to skip over all those long genealogies tucked throughout the Bible. DON’T SKIP THEM. Those generational lists are there for the same reason. Each name mentioned is a part of the inspired, inerrant Word of God, and they are listed to remind us that God keeps His promises and always works from one generation to the next.

One final note. God calls us aging parents to keep telling His story in our lives to the next generations. Psalm 71.18,

“And even when I am old and gray,
O God, do not forsake me until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to all who are to come.”

During this Christmas season, we must keep telling the personal story of God’s work in our lives to our children and our grandchildren.

We are here to communicate our trust and faith in the God who cares for our lives. There is no greater message we can communicate to generations following us. May we find ourselves doing precisely that around the table and in our homes throughout this Christmas season. Let’s help those in our future generations to be able to know and love God and to trace the work of God through their lives.

Even if you are single, through the singleness of your life God is writing the stories of the next generation through you. No one else can take your place.

Happy 8th day of Advent.

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