Family History – God’s eternal blessing …

Today’s Readings: Genesis 11:10-12:20 and Luke 5:27-39

As a result of a very brief conversation about what it means to share your life and experiences with the generations yet to come, about 10 years ago my Dad decided to take up this challenge and write his life story. What resulted is a fascinating read at many levels but sadly we haven’t done anything more with the information yet … BUT… to ensure this historical information is not lost, Dad and I have decided to make 2016 our goal for adding photos and to publish this as a book for our family.

Within the framework of what Dad has documented is of course the family tree, which traces back multiple generations including the complexity of ‘blended families’. Today’s reading reminds me so much of this journey we have been on.  Like any family trees, ours doesn’t provide much in the way of details apart from when people were born, married, became parents and how long they lived but unlike my family history, from Shem onward, Shem’s longevity stats are certainly mind blowing!

As the reading in Genesis arrives at Abram, have you ever stopped to consider who it might have been within your family who were praying for the ‘generations to come’? Who it might have been, who was praying for YOU?

Certainly we live this side of the cross which means our salvation is not determined by genealogy but rather by faith ….. but in the complexity of genealogy, we need to acknowledge that through God’s grace, we ARE direct descendants of the amazing promise of God made to Abram thousands of year ago! Now that’s mind blowing!

The Lord had said to Abram, Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.  “I will make you into a great nation and will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you.”   Genesis 12:1-3

We certainly live in a ‘mobile’ time in history when so many people make decisions to relocate and settle in locations not just geographically distanced in the native nation, but relocation that is often very far from family roots; relocation that takes people to a different country and culture, but unlike Abram, we can so easily go ‘home’. Access to cheap flights, transport, holidays and social media mean that our decisions are not really ‘life decisions’ of extreme change, sacrifice and isolation. Not like what would have been the situation for Abram.

I am challenged by what I read to ask the personal question … and can I encourage you to do the same … can I like Abram, sacrifice everything I hold dear to listen to the call God has on my life to leave everything earthly behind to follow him???

Paul captures this response well in his letter to the Philippians … a great statement of faith and prayer.

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.   Philippians 3:8-9

Yes there were challenges for Abram as he journeyed through life with decision making, as we see in his early decision to pretend he was not married to the beautiful Sarai … but are we any different today??

What encouragement to know as we continue to read Abram and Sarai’s life story, of God’s grace unfolding; God’s plan achieved in the weakness of human decisions.

As I reflect on my own life story and look to what might unfold, my prayer is that as the generations to come read of what might be recorded about me, they see Christ Jesus as my Lord and a life lived by faith … only in his strength.