Pending holiday get-together’s have a way of making even the most family oriented person cringe. Relatives whom we don’t care for, whether it is their demeanor or possibly something they have done to you or another, elicit tentative feelings and ponderings of “just not going”. We all have someone in our family whom we would rather avoid – disreputable relatives.
You aren’t alone.
Matthew 1:1-16 lists the genealogy of Jesus; and there were more than a couple of black sheep there. Tamar, Rehab, Ruth and Bathsheba are part of Jesus’ lineage. Two of them weren’t even Israelites, and they all had questionable pasts that would make any genealogy lovin’ Jew flinch. Non-Jews, prostitutes, adulterers….sinners – yet there they are proudly displayed as part of the family into which the Son of God was born into.
I think this vividly shows God’s love for all people, black sheep included. His chosen people.
It’s you, it’s me, and it’s the uncle or niece who you are thinking about right now.
If you were invited to Easter dinner at Jesus’ house, would you ask Him who else was going to be there, knowing that there may be one or two that you want to avoid? I doubt it. Would you be shocked to find that He would most likely be sitting right next to them at the table; engaged in conversation? For that is what Jesus did. He dined with sinners, kept company with the unloved and unworthy.
I think more likely you would choose to love those He invited because they are part of His family. He chose to invite them.
Consider this: We all have been invited to the table of the Lord. We’ve been invited to sit and dine with Him and be accepted into His family – forever. That fact alone should be enough. Enough to reach out in love to the one we would rather avoid, the one who makes us uncomfortable, the one whom we don’t believe deserves grace or mercy.
This is our opportunity to walk closer in the footsteps of Jesus. Our chance to grow in love and faith, and to purify our hearts, so that we may see the face of God.
I pray that your holidays are not only blessed, but also full of laughter, acceptance, grace and mercy. Peace and serenity come to our lives when we leave the judgment to the only one capable of giving it, and when we follow in the footsteps of our greatest example of a pure, free, sinless life.
Enjoy and be at peace!
Soli Deo Gloria!