One of my family’s Christmas traditions is to read through a set of Advent cards I found on Pinterest years ago. There are 25 cards for the entire month and each contains a Bible verse about the Christmas story. We’ve been doing this tradition for at least seven years and my kids have memorized some of the cards from reading them so often over the years.
Last night’s card had Luke 2:4 on it: “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.”
I asked my nine-year-old if he knew what that meant. It opened up great discussion about the family line of Jesus. We discussed what a family line is and how ancestry and lineage are traced.
We were able to help our kids make some connections: that the David mentioned in that verse is the same David who fought Goliath and who became the king of Israel.
We talked about some of the other people in Jesus’ ancestral line. If we look at the genealogy found in Matthew 1, we start with some familiar names, like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As we read the rest of this chapter, we’re sometimes quick to make it through the long list of people, without stopping to consider their stories and their connections.
Jesus did come from royal blood being from the line of King David, but as we dive into the stories of many of His ancestors, we also see that His genealogy contained sin, scandal, cheating, and murder. Those likely aren’t the stories we’d choose for our families to have, if we could control it, right?
Yet God decided that Jesus, His perfect Son, would be part of this specific line of imperfect people. Through it, God reminds us that He can use broken people for His purposes. Our sin and our ancestors’ crazy stories don’t exclude us from being a part of His plan!
Jesus is able to empathize with us in every way, reminding us that we aren’t the only ones who have some shady family stories in our line. Isn’t that comforting?
As we read through the characters of Christmas this year, let’s settle in with their stories and help our kids make new connections with the people and pages of Scripture. Let’s remember and be thankful that God uses imperfect people to be part of His perfect plans.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!