What are the stories behind the names?
Recently, I joined a chronological Bible Study group. It was the culmination (might I add -touch of the Holy Spirit?) of a repeated attempt to keep a consistent practice of daily reading the Bible through this type of schedule. It’s been fabulous. The irony is that the first reading involved one of those geneology passages. You know what I’m talking about: those verses that include a list of names that are difficult to pronounce and are mostly never mentioned again in scripture. It’s easy to scan over them or even ignore them. What do they matter?
These names tell stories.
We may not know much about them. But they are known to their Creator (also ours). These ancient unfamiliar stories impact us.
The beauty of God’s Kingdom is that we find identity in our connection to each other.
A few years ago, my oldest son discovered an interest in tracing our family roots. My husband’s grandmother handed me a bundle of index cards. Written on each one was the name of each relative on her mother’s side-dating back hundreds of years.
These names tell stories. Tales of marriage, births, tragedy, moving, scandal (Captain Kidd!), death, remarriage, step children.
Sounds a lot like my own life.
What we learn is that we don’t differ much from each other. We each long for identity, purpose, love, mercy, grace. We all struggle to accept that God is enough. To recognize that fulfillment is only found in the Kingdom ushered in by Jesus rather than the one that lures us on a daily basis.
Each of us has the potential to shape relatives we will never know. Because God does.
Someday, my name will be listed in a geneology or written on an index card. I hope that the stories of my life will still find themselves somehow through the mouths of those who find my name.
But, if nothing else, my story will shape who they are. Even if they don’t know it.
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