December 23

Good morning all!

Today’s scripture: Matthew 1:1-17

 

An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

 

As Christmas quickly approaches, I have been thinking a lot about family.  There are so many traditions out there that center around being with family and what you do with family.  During the holidays, it seems pretty important to gather around family and I would say that could be born into family or chosen family.  But what if you don’t feel as though you connect to your family…what do you do? Holidays can be super stressful for this reason.  All of our familial stuff comes out and it can be really great or pretty harmful.

 

In my family, we start talking about who gets what seat at Christmas for the opening of gifts (and really for the day where we return to).  When I was probably in second grade, my grandparents (grandpa is in the picture above) bought a new chair that I thought was the bees knees and right in the place I wanted to be forever.  So I made a note that said, “Courtney’s chair” and drew a Christmas present on it and slipped it underneath the cushion for all to see if they tried to steal this prime location.  It has been my seat ever since on Christmas.  My aunt has taken my picture in it, sitting in the same position, each year.   My brothers soon followed after and marked their seats with notes.  Every year this comes up.  Well, my grandparents have bought a new couch and suddenly ALL the notes have disappeared. PLUS we have additions to the family.  We kind of shoved my sister in law in a random chair in a random spot. And now my future sister in law is joining us and the conversation has started up.

 

“Should we switch spots?”

“No, why would we do that?”

“No one better touch my spot!”

“But what if we moved the whole living room around…a new formation?”

“But that’s not tradition!”

“What will we do?”

“What if more people come?’

 

There is a general sense of anxiety as we try as a family to figure this out.  It was bound to happen.  People get married, people join us, and eventually people will pass on.  But it is important for us to remember where we come from and who we are as a family in this moment.

 

We haven’t spent much time in Matthew this season and this scripture is how Matthew starts the story.  He starts the entire birth narrative with a commentary of where Jesus comes from in the family.  Matthew carves out the spot where Jesus will be in the lineage and it is all super important to recognize.  It is important to recognize who Jesus comes from and why he is there.  It is important to recognize that Jesus has a past of experiences that he will draw from and a family conversation to continue.  Whether we like it or not, we all also draw from where we come from and who we come from.  These are shapers to our current identity.  Whether you have picked out a spot or not, you have been placed in your family as who you are.  My grandfather has shaped me tremendously just by who he comes from and what he has done in life.

 

And we can choose to be stuck on our spot with family or go with the flow to do something new as the family grows this season.

 

Prayer:  O God, you have shaped us in amazing ways.  You have seen where we come from and who we belong to.  You have allowed us to pick our spot in the being of things.  Guide us to grow the family, to recognize our identities and use them for great things. Amen.

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