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The family of Jesus

Monday, March 20, 2006

Matthew 1:1-25

This is a record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ: ...

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph ... had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And Joseph gave him the name Jesus.

Matthew writes as clearly and specifically as he can about the genealogy of Jesus and his family. Joseph's father was named Jacob. Jesus did not have a physical father; he was the son of Mary and the Holy Spirit. Joseph adopted him into the family. That's how it looks to me, at least.

I would think this should bring great tears of empathic joy to the eyes of adopted children. They struggle with inner conflicts different and often deeper than those of children whose biological parents are known to them. So often for them, rejection is a feeling just a few words away. For them, this association with Jesus is especially sweet.

If Jesus' father was God and we are also called children of God, then we are all one family. Universal kinship means we have an awful lot of relatives, and you know what they say about relatives and fish ...

I'm reminded of something much kinder, though - from folksingers Peter, Paul and Mary, a song called "River of Jordan":

I traveled the banks of the River of Jordan
To find where it flows to the sea.
I looked in the eyes of the cold and the hungry
And I saw I was looking at me.
I wanted to know if life had a purpose
And what it all means in the end.
In the silence I listened to voices inside me
And they told me again and again:
There is only one river. There is only one sea.
And it flows through you, and it flows through me.
There is only one people. We are one and the same.
We are all one spirit. We are all one name.
We are the father, mother, daughter and son.
From the dawn of creation, we are one.
We are one.

You flow through all of us, Jesus, a river of living water that makes us whole and lets us know that we are all together part of your family. There is never any need for us to separate, so bind us together with love and understanding.

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