December 12, 2008

OMG! (Oh My Genealogy)

You might assume that discovering your family tree is a recent trend but you would be wrong. Genealogy has been around since Biblical times. Don’t believe me? Just open up your Bible to the book of Numbers. You’ll find lists and lists of families and descendants. God digs genealogy. Did you know you can even trace Jesus’ family line back to David, then back to Abraham, (Matthew 1:1-16) then back to Noah (Genesis 9, 10, 11) and finally back to Adam (Genesis 5)?! If God thinks heritage is important, shouldn’t we? This is why Bibles include (at least they used to) pages in the front for family information.

If you know me, you know what an advocate I am of interviewing your family on video or audio tape. As it turns out, the Bible is also a good example of preserving oral histories, as clearly illustrated by the four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The authors of these books either experienced the events of Jesus’ life first-hand or had direct contact with someone who did. For example, in Luke 2, the author describes the first Christmas and adds “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (v. 19, NIV). This tells me that it is very likely the author actually sat in Mary’s presence interviewing her when she revealed this, probably first time.

Christmas is a time for sharing and giving. During this season, turn off the TV, the Wii and the Blackberry and give your family your attention. Share memories with each other. Treasure these things and ponder them in your heart.

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