He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Special Family Line

Searching one’s genealogy can be an interesting adventure, as a person tries to identify his family from generations past.  My personal path includes Swiss and German among others, when I combine both my parent’s lineage.          

Mestizo is a word used sometimes to describe a person with family lines from Latin America, Europe and an American Indian, although the definition varies from country to country.  A Melungeon is another term I discovered that means having several different ethnic groups in their family line.  In any case both words were created to define a mixed blend of cultures that came together forming their own family heritage.

The idea of mixed ethnic lines was around even during Bible times.  The Apostle Paul was a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin and also had Roman citizenship, an inheritance from his father. This happens in many families, even today.  My husband is Indian and Irish; I am Swiss and German which makes my children a mix of the four different ethnicities, at a bare minimum! 

Jesus’ lineage is from the Davidic line.  Samuel used Holy oil to anoint David, as a very young man.  David was the one least likely to be chosen from the family of Jesse. He was the youngest of eight sons and a shepherd boy.  Yet we are told the Spirit of the Lord came upon him from that time on.  God protected him from Saul and made him a great king, despite the sin in his life.  David was considered “a man after God’s own heart” because he recognized his failings and had a repentant heart and truly loved The Lord.  The line that followed would be the ancestry of Jesus.

Like Jesus, the “Melungeons” and “Mestizos” weren’t always accepted within the community.  There was racial discrimination.  History indicates for a time the “Melungeons” were generally accepted, but with the slave rebellion in 1831, they were rejected and reduced to second-class status.  Jesus was rejected by his own people.  Many missed the Messiah’s birth and even now await His coming. 

As Jesus grew into a man and began his ministry there were those who accused him of heresy and blasphemy.  He was told he was crazy, an imposter and demon possessed.  His teachings, often in parables, were unclear to the Pharisees and when they did understand were angered because they knew the parable was about them. They sought to kill him or in some way make him stop teaching the people.

We have a responsibility to continue the ministry Jesus began.  He brought the Good News to all who would listen.  People either loved Him or hated Him.  Like the “Melungeons” and "Mestizos," Jesus was different and in many circles considered an outcast.  It isn’t much different today.  As a believer, who is now part of “God’s family,” we need to be willing to be different enough to share the Good News with people around us.  It isn’t easy to be different or to be counted as an “outcast.”  But Jesus is counting on us, His family, to carry on the mission.  How will you respond?