May 18, 2016

Family Connections

Luke 3:23-38

Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph.

—  Luke 3:23

We value stories. They are the primary vehicles for explaining who we are. All good stories include the names of the people involved. 

In our reading for today, Luke describes Jesus through his human family tree. Luke provides this list of names to show that these people were grafted into the family of God’s ongoing redemptive kingdom work.

If we skip over the list of names connected with Jesus, we miss an important part of the story Luke is telling. Jesus is the first name we must take into our lives for our stories to make sense. You and I are in God’s family because of Jesus.

Our stories, anchored in Jesus’ story, provide hope for us. Author Donald McCullough in  The Consolations of Imperfection shows how we can live into the story of God’s grace in Jesus. He writes, “When my achievements had fallen like sand through open fingers, and when I had no hope for grasping any in the future, I found myself being upheld by grace . . . the eternal love I had believed was freely offered through Jesus Christ was indeed freely offered, with no strings attached, apart from anything I had done or not done. That meant I had value, I had worth . . . everything I needed for rebuilding my life on a far more trustworthy foundation.”

What makes your story valuable?

Father, I keep thinking my story doesn’t matter. But by your grace, Jesus’ story is my story. Help me to tell my good-news story to my friends and loved ones. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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