My 2017 (18th annual) ornament was inspired by some conversations this year about legacy. With next generations in mind, we wondered out loud what we would include and exclude if we could control our family legacy. And what about when something (we regard as) “messy” pushes its way into our story?
Consider Jesus’ genealogy in Luke 3: 23-38. Through layers of human messiness, God navigates his redemption plan culminating in the birth of a promised Savior who is “Divinely Human.” I pray this nuance of his amazing story blesses you.
Glenn Trevisan (Christmas 2017)
The cover of our church bulletin reads: “Real God, Messy People, Changed Lives. The Gospel Changes Everything.” The explanation begins, “The gospel is the story of God’s work as He restores a broken world full of broken people through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
Broken people are God’s specialty. Any faltering that we fear would mar our legacies is lovingly handled by a God who separates each of us from our sin. Not only is our broken state where he begins his redemptive work in us, often he transforms our lowest points into inspiring testimonies!
Perhaps to prove the point, the human ancestry of God’s son includes several instances of indiscretions that would no doubt be voted off the family tree if that option were available. Instead, these ancestors are openly included along with everyone else in genealogies featured in not one but two gospels, Matthew and Luke.
Matthew’s genealogy starts with Abraham to establish Jesus’ Jewish lineage while Luke goes all the way back to Adam to establish a relationship with the entire human race. “Divinely Human” illustrates the Luke genealogy:
- A Christmas "family tree"
- with God as its trunk
- and beads depicting some ancestors of Jesus, the treetop star.
“Divinely Human” highlights the ancestry of Jesus Christ whose birth Christmas marks and celebrates. Divinely sourced and sovereignly orchestrated through a human lineage marked by both faithfulness and foibles, the baby Jesus arrived “in the fullness of time” to Bethlehem, as foretold. (see Galatians 4:4 & Micah 5:2)
Genesis 49:10 establishes that the Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah, fourth son of Jacob and Leah, a marriage arranged through a deception on the part of her father, Laban. Jacob’s preference for and subsequent marriage to younger sister, Rachel was cause for jealousy between the two sisters whose vying for Jacob’s favor literally “produced” the patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Israel!
Years later, Judah would be party to another deception, fathering descendent Perez when lured into sex by daughter-in-law Tamar posing as a temple prostitute. Further down the line, former prostitute Rahab married Salmon, one of the Israeli spies she sheltered in Jericho. Their son Boaz was the kinsman redeemer of Ruth who he met gleaning grain in one of his fields. They married and had Obed who brought much joy to grandmother Naomi.
Ancestor Solomon (of Proverbs ”wisdom”) was second child of David and Bathsheba, whose first husband’s death was arranged by David. Finally came Jesus whose mother Mary’s conception story was probably a closely-guarded secret known by only a select few before the gospel accounts were written and circulated.
“Divinely Human” illustrates God’s divine sovereignty that assures everything “works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28) undeterred by the human ancestry of our Messiah that features more messiness that most legacies can handle.
The “Good News” we celebrate at Christmas is this: In Christ, our redemption that is 100% dependent on God and 0% dependent on us. God’s legacy is us redeemed!
COMMENTS: Are WELCOME and ENCOURAGED here about how the ornament and/or message struck you ESPECIALLY from ornament recipients. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE a 2017 “Divinely Human” ornament, simply request one at RoadReportJournal@gmail.com. My "extras" supply is very limited but if I can get one to you, I will. If shipping is required, I will ask you to cover those costs.
- Genealogy resource: “The Biblical Genealogy,” an awesome 11x17 chart detailing lineage from Adam to Jesus that is available at www.amazon.com/shops/biblegenealogychart
- Tree: This project was a definite go thanks to finding the “Pine Tree Rustic Tin Shape,” at AllTheMemories – Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/AllTheMemories )
- Treetop star: 2nd key element was the treetop "Jesus" star found at GingerlilyFrance - Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/GingerlilyFrance )
- Beads & Wire
- 6 beads were purchased from a Michael's Crafts store
- 3 beads were found at ScaraBeads – Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ScaraBeads)
- Scripture References: (see hyperlinks in text above)
- Anchor scripture is Luke 3: 23-38
- Also Galatians 4:4 and Micah 5:2
- 9 “birth verses” are listed on the ornament card
- A resource but not referenced is Matthew’s genealogy: Matthew 1: 1-17
- Advisors, editors, helpers: Grace Chapel Pastor Doug Walker and my wife, Cindy for editing assistance. Thanks to Karol Gee for help with printing the ornament card.
The Making of "Divinely Human"
I enjoy watching the featurettes about "how this movie was made" sometimes offered on DVDs. Fascinating how it all comes together, the approaches the director and actors took, etc. In that vein, I offer this pictorial featurette on the making of the "Divinely Human" ornament. For those of you who like that kind of thing.....