I admit it. I was afraid of the prospect of changing diapers. When my first child was born, I rushed to change that first diaper. I had to conquer my fear from the get-go. But I had not done my homework. I was not prepared for meconium. It was more than I had bargained for – much more.
But meconium was not the most shocking aspect of becoming a father. Most unexpected was the realization that my children would look at me, the way I had looked at my own father. I never for an instant believed he did not know how to handle any and every situation. He always had a plan, seemed to have things under control – except, that is, when he attempted to fix household appliances.
But as a new dad, I was painfully aware that I did not know how to handle any and every situation. I did not always have a plan, nor did I have things under control. As a child my confidence in my father made the uncertain certain and made the impossible possible. He taught me to plan, to write, to teach. He taught me the importance of serving others, and in particular, of serving Christ.
He had his faults to be sure, but I am thankful to be my father’s son. His shoes were very big. I sat with him as he drew his last breath in this life. I was surprised by an overwhelming sense of being untethered as he left us. Though I was almost fifty years old with seven children of my own, the thought of a world without my father seemed unexpectedly daunting.
Our fathers define us. Either by their place in our lives, or by their absence. Some infused us with strength and confidence, while others saddled us with weakness and insecurity. In one way or another we are all shaped by fatherhood. Dads, how are you shaping your family? What legacy will you leave? And what mark will your family make upon the world as it unfolds into history? Genealogy, the study of our generations, is often more about where our family is going than where it started. Where is your family going? What will be its legacy?
Genealogies in the Bible often seem quite out of place, interrupting great stories just as they reach a high point. They can be tedious. And often they are the bane of our daily Bible reading plan. But they are no less “breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
Tucked in among unpronounceable Hebrew names and begats are some very important theological and practical truths. God is a God of real people and real history. God works through families and generations. God sees, knows, hears, and directs parents, spouses, children, and outsiders toward his grace through their relationships. No one falls through the cracks. No one is unknown or unnoticed. And no one is found among ancestors or descendants who ‘has it all together.’ Every generation needs a savior and looks to Christ.
As Moses prepares to confront Pharaoh and initiate the most awesome display of spiritual power the ancient world had seen in the plagues, the Holy Spirit presses the pause button. He gives us a genealogy and reminds us of the importance of being faithful men and women, boys and girls, following Christ and leaving a legacy of following Christ. Join us this week as we examine Exodus 6:14-30 and consider the formative power of the ‘Faith of Our Fathers.’
We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock for worship. Get directions here or contact us for more info. You can also join us on Facebook Live @RiverCityARP or on YouTube.