Our Family Trees Start at the Roots

And Some of the Branches May Not Be the Best

Every one of us has a family and every family has a story. Each of these stories is different. Some are comedies, some are fairy tales, some are mysteries, some are fantasies, and some are horror stories.

I’m fortunate to have an amazing family. Is isn’t perfect…no, but none are.

We all have memories of family…both good and bad. We are a combination of who God made us to be and our life experiences.

No matter what our family story is, we have the power to write our own chapter.

We all come from someone, somewhere, and something…a people, a place, and a story. So does Jesus.

Currently we are going through an Advent study, Roots: Advent and the Family Story of Jesus at church. Pastor Lisa’s message on Sunday was tied to the study.

The heart and mission of Jesus is better understood by exploring the roots that grew into Jesus’s life. The roots of Jesus are his family tree and its characters, the land of Israel – its towns and terrain, and the incredible faith-story of God’s covenant people, the Jews.

In Roots: Advent and the Family Story of Jesus, there is the rediscovery that Jesus — born naturally of a mother from a family line herself, and nurtured by a father who knew the names of his family many generations into the past (Matthew 1:1–17) — comes from the family vine of the great King David, the son of Jesse, and from a long line of faithful men and women.

Both Jesus’ genealogical ancestry and His faith heritage take us on a journey through the stories of saints and sinners woven into the family line of the Son of God.

Yes, you read that right, there were both saints and sinners in Jesus’ family tree.

Just because our family trees have some bad branches doesn’t mean that we must be bad. We can choose what kind of branch we will be.

In Matthew 1:6, we see that Jesse was the father of David the king of the Jews. In Isaiah 11:1-3, we read that a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse.

Have you ever seen a live tree cut down and just the stump is left? If you have then you know how new trees can sprout up from that stump. Often many more than just one tree. This growing and spreading of trees is the same in families.

The importance of family is evident with the popularity of people searching for their family ancestry. This desire to know who and where we come from is a part of who we are.

A tree is a great way to represent the growing and spreading of families with the relationships through a tree and branches.

If we go back far enough in our family tree, we will end up at the beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. There were times throughout history when the tree was cut down and sprouted again.

We need to celebrate our history and grow into the branch that we were meant to be.

Be Patient, the Day is Coming…You Can Count on it

The Heart of the Advent Season is the Coming of Christ

We live in an “I want it now” society. We’ve been spoiled by the speed at which things move at. Instantaneous access to the internet on our hand-held devices, drive through restaurants, etc. Not that there is anything wrong with efficiency, but in the process, we’ve lost the ability to wait patiently.

This sense of immediacy makes us a demanding people.

It seems that this has always been the case. Throughout the Bible people were unwilling to wait for things to happen according to God’s timing and inevitably they would have to wait longer. They would take things in their own hands and then pay the price.

Jerimiah speaks to this in Chapter 33. He is sharing a message with the people. It was the promise of Jesus’ coming. They were feeling hopeless, and Jerimiah gave them hope.

Early on, Jerimiah was a preacher of righteousness, in the last chapter of his book, he speaks words of comfort. Before the people needed to be confronted, now they need to be comforted. Before they needed words of judgement, now they need words of grace. Before they deserved condemnation, now they need hope. So instead of offering a word of punishment, Jerimiah offers a word of promise.

Behold the days are coming.

Jerimiah uses the phrase, “The days are coming.” throughout his book. This is God’s promise to us of Christ’s coming. This doesn’t mean everything is going to be easy, it just means that that we’ve been promised something better.

During a live presentation of the Wizard of Oz the good witch Glinda was being lowered on to the stage when there was a problem, and she was left hanging above the stage. When something like this happens during a live performance there’s not much the actors can do other than improvise and wait patiently.

We need to do what we can and be patient with things that we have no control over.

We live in a fallen world. We can’t change that, but we can control how we live in it. We aren’t perfect, we are a people under construction.

Enjoy this season of Advent and the coming of Christ as we celebrate Christmas time.