Marveling at our history of grace

It’s my fourth year doing it. You’d think I’d be on track by now. I don’t know why I thought that today was November 31st. I guess I forgot that old rhyme I learned back in first grade.  When I ran into my friends from church who are about to have their first baby in a few weeks, and Michele, the mom to be, mentioned her baby shower tomorrow, my brain instantly began searching my non-exsistent mental calender.  I seriously need an iPhone with Siri for the sole purpose of having it vocally remind my of appointments and dates.  Written calendars do me no good.  They’re not right in front of my eyes!

Anyway, so when I got the stuff for making our Jesse Tree ornaments a little more permanent from the craft store and started putting them together this evening at home with Ryland, I realized we were supposed to start the Jesse Tree on the 29th.  So, tonight we’ll have an extra long reading.

I’m just a little idealistic.  I’m convinced I was meant to be a wife and mom in the 1940’s.  I would like to have meaningful traditions and a little decorum in our lives.  I’d like dinner to be… special and manner-filled.  I believe, as Elizabeth Elliot said, that manners speak of that pattern shown in Christ which says, “My life for yours.”  And to some degree I believe meaningful traditions are a medium to teach truth and impress those truths on our children.  Of course the meaningful tradition is only as meaningful as the everyday life that accompanies it.  

Today I was reading thru the genealogy of Christ in the book of Matthew again to prepare for the last women’s Bible study we’re doing at my church on the five women mentioned in that genealogy.  I’ve really enjoyed digging up these women from the pages of scripture and learning more about the God in Whom I put my hope through His work in their lives.  The message that He delivers in delivering His Son through such brokenness and… messes.  Grace.  Total grace.  Unearned favor.

Anyway as I was reading thru it this morning I ran across this easily walked-right-past section in a dry genealogy:

“…and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah…” – Matthew 1:10

It caught my eye.  Hezekiah.  I remembered him as being that king who begged God not to let him die.  It seems like he might have looked back on that time after his son Manasseh was grown and wished he had have died rather than lived to see his own son do such evil.

Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem.  And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had broken down, and he erected altars to the Baals, and made Asheroth, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem shall my name be forever.”And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. And he burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger…The LORD spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention… -2 Chronicles 33:1-6,10

You should really go read the rest of chapter 33 actually. Sad. It’s the way we are. Without a gracious God who can even turn Manassehs around we’d be toast!

I bet if I investigated those listed in that genealogy I’d find a never-running-dry well of grace!

This is why I enjoy the Jesse Tree so much… takes you clear back to the beginning of our benevolent Creator’s gracious relation with us, His fallen Imago Dei ones. 

There are a lot of lies about God that float around, or rather aim and shoot like poisonous arrows at our minds.  But the Bible records a gracious God relating with us not as we deserve, but as He is.  Good. Period. 


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