Formations Lesson for December 5- In the Fullness of Time
November 18 2010 by Christopher Moore, minister of education, children and senior adults, Durham Memorial Baptist Church, Durham

Focal Passages: Gal. 4:1-7; Matt. 1:1-17

I recently received a birthday card from my in-laws.  It was signed “Love Mom and Papa.”

Though I’m not related by blood, my in-laws like to remind me from time to time that I’m part of their family, and each time they do, I feel special.

Consequently, I’ve embraced my role in the family with gusto.

I have sung the praises of their favorite burger joint, cast evil glances at their rival high school, worked a little on the farm, and even developed a taste for boiled peanuts. 

When they are anxious, I fret. 

When they celebrate, I laugh. 

When they speak of ancestors and family connections, I listen. 

I want to know more about their story, because along the way, I’ve adopted that story as my own.

When we read the genealogy of Jesus, it’s important to remember that we aren’t just trudging through a list of faceless names, even though many of them may not be familiar to us. 

As my wife reminded me recently, we are actually reading a list of stories, and the author of Matthew presumes we know something about this who’s who of Israelite history. 

A childless Abraham becomes the father of a nation. 

A duplicitous Jacob becomes the namesake of God’s people. A giant-slaying David rises to power, and yet falters by sinning with the “wife of Uriah.” 

For obvious reasons, perhaps my favorite name in the list is Ruth. Though not an Israelite herself, she too adopted the story of an in-law, and thus secured her place in the most famous genealogy of all time.

When Paul tells the Galatians that they are children of God, Paul references the unfolding drama that led to Christ’s birth (Gal. 4:4). History pointed in the direction of Jesus, and when the “fullness of time” came, believers were adopted into God’s family.

Now we as believers adopt God’s story as our story. By reading Matthew 1, we are not just rehashing Christ’s genealogy; we’re delving into our own.  Just as each individual in Matthew’s litany of ancestors played a role in the story of Jesus, we too are invited to participate in what God is doing here on earth. How do we participate? We must embrace our role in God’s family.

We learn to like the things God likes, do the things God does, care the way God cares, and love the way God loves. 

My in-laws sent me a card to remind me I was a part of the family. Likewise, God sent his Son as a resounding message that humans no longer have to be outsiders.  Because of Christ, we’ve been taking in and embraced as one of the Father’s own.  
11/18/2010 6:47:00 AM by Christopher Moore, minister of education, children and senior adults, Durham Memorial Baptist Church, Durham | with 2 comments




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11/26/2010 3:34:28 AM