“Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.” // Matthew 1:17
My mother’s family history is an open book. My uncle, a historian who has spent years doing research, created a comprehensive website tracing the family roots back through the centuries.
On my dad’s side, it’s exactly the opposite. His mother, who grew up in a deeply dysfunctional family, coped by shutting the door on her past. Marriage and a cross-country move gave her welcome opportunities to start a new life, and—in public, at least—she did not look back.
Does it matter that we know who our ancestors are? I ponder this as I read today’s Gospel. Certainly, Matthew has a clear purpose in tracing Jesus’ lineage; he is establishing that Jesus is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, the descendant of David, and the Messiah. There’s something impressive about seeing how each generation leads to the birth of Christ at a specific time and place in human history.
It would be nice to have the same level of knowledge about my own background.
Nice, but not necessary. I don’t need to know every one of my ancestors throughout the ages; that list of names is not the most compelling thing about me. What matters most is this: the fact that I’m here, right here, right now. What matters is the fact that I’m alive, created by God for this specific time and place in human history. How will I use my life? What can I offer the world, for this precious sliver of time that I have?
Psalm 72 today speaks of justice and peace. We live in a world where both feel in short supply. If we can spend our time creating a more just and peaceful world—or a more loving, creative, or honest one—what a gift it would be for this generation. What a gift it would be for the generations still to come.
This is your moment: your precious, God-given life. What can you do today to honor it?You weere created by God for this specific time and place in human history. // Ginny Kubitz Moyer Click To Tweet