Good Day Friends,
I hope you are beginning this Lenten season with a sense of peace. I don’t know what kinds of disciplines each of you have decided to adopt for Lent, but maybe you would like to try this one with me.
For the next 40 days, I will be reading (and praying) through the Book of Matthew. When was the last time you chose a book of the Bible and actually studied it all the way through? For me, it has been way too long. So I invite you to come along with me and seek the revelation of God through this sacred reading.
To make it easier for those of you reading these entries on mobile devices, I will include a link each day to our corresponding chapter from BibleGateWay.com. This is a great site. If you click on the link, it will pull up the days chapter in the New Living Translation. On this page you are able to change to another translation if you wish, and for those commuters out there, you can even listen to the chapter as you drive. Just choose Audio Bible from the list on the left of the page (a hint: Max McClean is awesome to listen to!)
So, all I am doing is reading a chapter each day (doesn’t take more than 5 minutes usually) and I will contemplate it’s meaning for me. “What is God’s message for my life in the text?” “Do I hear any of those Sacred Echoes?” I hope that you will share with our community any new understandings you gain through this process because we are all in this journey together.
Matthew Chapter 1 – A Legacy
As I looked at the first page of this book, I thought “Oh great, another genealogy.” I pretty much glaze over those in the Bible because I don’t know the people, don’t really see any beneficial information, and can’t pronounce most of them. But because of this new commitment I have made, I took a good look.
Jesus’ family tree reads like a “Who’s Who” of the Bible: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Zerubbabel, Boaz…
There were some great Bible heroes in there (along with some questionable characters and some unknowns) and it made me re-think Jesus a little bit. I have always thought of Jesus as the all-knowing Son of God. He is God, so surely He didn’t need any spiritual help along the way. But I am pretty sure I am wrong about this assumption.
Jesus was also a man, who grew from a little boy. With a family tree like this, I have to believe that He spent many nights at home, maybe sitting by the fire, listening to the stories of His family. He heard about the faithfulness of Abraham, the courage of David, the integrity of Boaz, the vision of Zerubbabel – these stories had to have had an effect on Him.
There is something of a legacy that exists for most families, I believe. They can be destructive: alcoholism, abuse, etc… Or they can be constructive in teaching the next generation. Growing up as a young man, maybe even before he realized His calling, do you think that Jesus counted Himself among a long-line of faithful Israelites? Did his chest swell with pride when the great stories were recounted? Were His opinions and attitudes formed by the actions of His ancestors?
Obviously I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. However, by asking them, I am led to ask myself what kind of legacy am I creating for the next generation of my family. Am I sharing the stories that will build their faith and values? Am I creating a home that honors God in both our past and our future? Hmmm. Definitely some things I need to think about. I guess genealogies aren’t so bad after all…
How I praise You. For You alone are my Rock and my Foundation. Help me, please to lead my children well. Show me how best to communicate Your goodness to our family over the years. Help me to lead my children down the path of faithfulness, that they might be recognized as true disciples.
In Jesus’ name I pray,