Monday, October 02, 2017

Family Tree

I love talking about  genealogies in my Bible classes and you'll understand why after reading the entry below from December 26, 2009. 

A week ago, I wrote about my mother's birthday and a Christmas tie given to me by a delightful WCS second grader named Cana. In my story, I noted how Mom was from Nashville, Arkansas and her maiden name was Chesshir. The next day, Cana's mother, Rachel, who teaches with me, e-mailed and told me her best friend's mother was from Nashville, Arkansas and her maiden name was also Chesshir. I turned to my Aunt Jerry and Uncle Jack, our family genealogists. They sent a chart with who was related to who and it turns out, I am related to Rachel's best friend. Her grandfather and my grandfather were first cousins and even had the same name, Jord Chesshir. They were differentiated in almost a Biblical way. (Remember Saul of Tarsus and Joseph of Arimithea?) Her grandfather was referred to as Jord Chesshir on the Bayou (Blue Bayou) and my grandpa was called Jord Chesshir at Corinth. Since Cana calls her mother's best friend her aunt and I am the cousin of that same lady, I guess that makes me a relative of Cana's family! Due to the lateness of the discovery of kin, there was not sufficient time for me to get my name entered for the drawing for Christmas presents. As we very minimally bi-lingual Texans would say, "La próxima Navidad!'' ("Next Christmas!")

In teaching my Bible classes at WCS, I always spend a little time on the family tree of Jesus. His genealogy was deemed important enough to be included in both the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. In Matthew, the line goes back to Abraham while Luke traces it back to God through Adam. We talk about the inclusion of Gentiles and known sinners into the lineage of the Christ, inclusions that might seem surprising to some readers. My students freely admit that they have relatives who are not spoken of openly, out of shame or embarrassment. The scriptures do not avoid the sometimes messy and inconvenient details of those who flesh out the Biblical tale. Each of us are a thread in the tapestry of a family and we all want to strengthen that fabric. Our families come to define us genetically, socially, educationally, and often, spiritually. It's a fact of life that the older generation of a family is constantly shrinking while the younger level continues to expand. Aunt Jerry wrote that the recent passing of Wilma left only three first cousins on my mother's Chesshir side. The October birth of Noah increases the Hawley portion of the clan by one. This Christmas, I am thankful for my bloodlines in both directions. I pray that I can stay connected to both my biological and Christian families. And joyfully, often the two are one and the same.

Applicable quote of the day:
''People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors."
Edmund Burke

God bless,
Luke 18:1

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