Friday, September 08, 2017

Previous Generations

We started looking at the genealogies of Jesus today in class! We all have them but sometimes we are unaware of their importance. This is from August 12, 2013. 

I don't know Jamie well. She only started working at Westbury Christian School this year and we only began inservice twelve days ago. I take it she is a recent college graduate, very enthusiastic, and as a physics teacher like my brother, Scott, very intelligent. In fact, much of what I know about Jamie came from a devotional comment. My minister, Dave Yasko, was speaking to our faculty and he mentioned his nephew, Adam, had told him we had a new teacher from the college where he lived in Michigan. Dave wondered aloud who it might be and Jamie put her hand up. Later that day, I saw her outside the printing room and asked if she were from Michigan. She told me she was and I mentioned all of my dad's family was from Michigan as well. This was her reply:
"Hawley Lodge."
That really caught me off guard and I asked her how she knew Hawley Lodge. Jamie told me she had been been a camper at Michigan Christian Youth Camp since she was in eighth grade and Hawley Lodge is kind of the center piece of that wonderful site. It is also named in honor of my grandparents, Harold and Minnie Hawley. I've only been there once that I recall and that was the day it was dedicated. Our family was invited to the festivities and we were being hidden. Grandpa Hawley walked right by before the ceremony- never saw us. It would have destroyed the element of surprise!

You know, I have no idea how Jamie made the connection between her camp and me. I would guess it has to do that we both were raised in families belonging to churches of Christ and many of my dad's relatives were involved in ministry in Michigan. I take it the building was named after my grandparents due to their passion for MCYC (as the camp is affectionately called) but I know scant details. They were an interesting couple. Grandpa Hawley was a minister/educator with a Master's Degree from the University of Michigan. (Hail to the victors valiant!) Grandma Hawley was the daughter of immigrants who did not speak English when they arrived on these fair shores. They were engaged for six years before they got married- they waited until his education was complete.Both were from large families- he was one of seven children and my grandmother was one of, get this, eleven! (Football team!) I wish we had seen them more when I was growing up. We lived seven hundred miles from each set of grandparents- Mom's family is from Arkansas- so it was once a year and usually at holidays. I owe them- no Harold and Minnie, no Steve. Jamie's comment was good reminder to me.

One thing I try to stress to my students is the importance of family. It's interesting to me that in two of the four Gospels, Matthew and Luke, genealogies trace the earthly lineage  of Jesus. The authors, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, must have felt it to be very important, especially to the readers of the day. Americans are fascinated with their roots and it has become an industry, even to the point of television shows focused on the family trees of the famous. They have yet to call me. But, I had one genealogy moment I'll never forget. The day I walked into the classroom of famed Harding University Bible professor Jimmy Allen, he looked at the roll book and asked me one simple question:
"Monroe or Roger?"

He knew I was the son of either Monroe (my uncle) or Roger, who is my father. In doing so, he was holding me accountable to the standard of the lives they lived. I often fell short but it's not a bad thing to have that measuring stick. But, Jesus left us with the greatest family command ever. In Matthew 5:48, just four chapters after one of the family trees of the Savior, He makes this statement:
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
I need to sign off now- I've got a long ways to go!!

Applicable quote of the day:
Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
(To watch and listen to the genealogy of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew, start watching at the 1:59 mark until the 4:20 mark- very well done!)

God bless,
Steve (Grandson of Harold and Minnie Petersen Hawley)
Luke 18:1
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