My mom comes from a conversative Mennonite background near Amish country in Pennsylvania. Mennonite families are known for their big families, and my mom’s does not disappoint. She has six siblings and is one of 63 first cousins on my grandpa’s side alone! When you start extending out to my mom’s second cousins and beyond, we start playing what we call the Mennonite Game to figure out how we are related to those we run into with our last name. In fact, we have a book 6 inches thick with just family trees that helps us in this game when we meet another Mennonite and try to figure out if we are second or ninth cousins.
Family lineage is important in my mom’s family as it tells us where we have come from and who we are in the context of the family and community. The lineage of kings, including those of Israel, was meticulously recorded and protected for the same reason. Kings passed on to their children a history, which told them who they were and detailed a set of responsibilities and legacy to be carried on when they took the throne. Arguably the most famous king of Israel was King David, who was described as a man after God’s own heart. He assumed the role as king in part to remind the people of Israel that they had escaped Egypt and entered the promised land not without strife but with a faithful God. He reminded them that they were His people. Then, through David’s lineage 28 generations later (excluding the exile), Christ came. Through the lineage of David, God reminds His people that we have come out of darkness and into His light, and He calls us to reflect His light and hope to a dark world.
Ponder: What kingly characteristics did David display when he was anointed king of God’s people? How did King David’s role help remind the people of Israel where they came from and who they were? How does Christ our King remind us of where we have come from and who we are in Him?
Pray: Father, we thank You for making us part of Your family, for claiming us as Yours. Thank You for loving us, for knowing us, and for choosing us to do Your work. Help us to shine Your light and speak Your hope to this dark world. Amen.
— Jamie Harms