Matthew 1:1-17
1 A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, 3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, 4 Ram the father of Amminadab, 5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, 6 and Jesse the father of King David. 7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam, 8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, 9 Uzziah the father of Jotham, 10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, 11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. 12 After the exile to Babylon: 13 Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, 14 Azor the father of Zadok, 15 Eliud the father of Eleazar, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.

 Your Family Matters

Families are significant in shaping our lives. The values and principles that are shared by the patriarchs and matriarchs of our families impact the decisions that we make and the character that we develop. Because of this we often ignore the “black sheep” of the family. You know thos family members who do not meet everyone else’s expectations for decency and mental stability.

Family members who choose questionable professions, those who were incarcerated, Cousin Bob who knows how to push everyone’s buttons, Lilly who doesn’t have a filter on her conversation and will tell everyone’s business, Uncle Leroy who had an affair had a second family and left Aunt Lucy.  The people in our families who are tricksters by trade and con artist supreme are all people who we usually do not talk a lot about and we even avoid when we are introducing people to our family.

Jesus had a family heritage that included a prostitute, an adulterous king, scheming men and others who could be considered “out of the norm” as family members. Every family has people who have various backgrounds, personalities and peculiarities. Our job is to love them unconditionally because they are family. We are to model the love of Christ even when they don’t meet our standards.  Jesus never denounced his family or the disciples with challenges but he embraced everyone with their strengths and weaknesses.

 I would like to challenge you to build bridges with those family members who are distant and offer a prayer today for each member of your family who has hurt you or disappointed you. Forgive those who have offended you.  Take the initiative to build a new bridge and model God’s love for a whole new family reunion.