We are continuing our Gifts of Advent Series by opening the Gift of Roots and Rootedness and looking at the Family Tree of Jesus in Matthew 1 and the Root of Jesse passage in Isaiah 11.
I’ve been thinking a lot about family. After the absence of family gatherings last year, it is a welcome change to be able to get together in the same place. As we in America head towards Thanksgiving, I’m excited to get to celebrate the holiday in Denver with both of our sons.
What is our legacy of family? What about our roots? Our family tree? It’s fun to learn more about where we come from and our heritage.
Have you ever really thought about the family tree of Jesus?
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah[b] the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, 7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[c]
and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
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 Messiah.
What do you notice from the passage that you didn’t notice before?
What questions come up for you as you read or listened to the passage?
What did you notice about the family tree of Jesus?
Think about your relatives, the ones you love and the ones who drive you crazy. When you think about your favorite relative, who comes to mind?
When you think about your least favorite relative whose face appears? Why is it so easy to love some folks and so hard to love others? Talk to Jesus about this.
What gifts did your family give you ? Love of nature, sense of humor, spirit of adventure, love of books, cooking, generosity, faith, hospitality? What else? Take some time to be grateful.
Take some time to pray for your family members…
There might have been a lot of negative things in your family…No family is perfect. They all have problems, and there is a great deal of brokenness in many families. Lots of us have worked on our issues in therapy and twelve-step programs and with lots of prayer.
Jesus had an imperfect family too. His family tree reveals the beauty and wonder of God…the human side of Jesus. His relatives might not be invited to some gatherings…they all had their issues, yet they are in the family line of Jesus. And listed in our Bibles for all of us to remember!
The Family tree of Jesus included Prostitutes, Refugees, Cheaters, and a Murdering King, yet they all are included in His lineage. These people prepare us for the type of ministry Jesus will have when he grows up!
One filled with grace and love for ALL PEOPLE!
What hope does this give you?
NOW Consider your Spiritual Family Tree. Who has given you spiritual roots? Who are the people on your spiritual family tree? Save the TREE THE COLORING SHEET below or draw out a tree of your own and fill in the branches. Take time to pray for and thank God for these people who have given you roots and helped you grow.
Who are you helping get rooted in Jesus? Ask Jesus to show you…take time to pray for this person or persons.
READ ISAIAH 11: 1-10 NIV
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together; and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. 9 They will neither harm nor
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the
as the waters cover the sea.
In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.
Maybe you’ve been feeling like a withered stump rather than a flowing, growing tree…maybe you need to remember your roots that are deep down in the soil.
Ask Jesus to show you more about your roots of faith today. Then imagine a new shoot growing up out of that old stump.
What new growth needs to happen? What new growth do you want to see happen this Advent season? Talk to Jesus about this.
We have a tradition in our family of planting Amaryllis Bulbs during Advent and Christmas each year. They are really ugly bulbs that grow into beautiful flowers. You might consider planting one and watching it grow and bloom this holiday season. Allow Jesus to speak to you about all he is growing in you as the Amaryllis grows.
Listen to this:
****FEATURED ART is called “SEEN” By my good friend Scott Erickson You can purchase his art and a “SEEN” print here. Scott has a great Advent devotional filled with his amazing work called HONEST ADVENT. Take some time to visit his website and follow him on INSTAGRAM for daily devotions. @scottthepainter
©lillylewin and freerangeworship.com This devotion was a part of our thinplaceNASHVILLE house church this past week. please email me if you’d like a PDF of the whole thing. firstname.lastname@example.org
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