Just a Kid From… – Jeremy Austill
Just a Kid From…

December may very well be my favorite time of the year. I certainly love the awakening of beauty after the dormant rest of Winter. I crave the vitality, energy, and life of the summer months. As the breeze cools and the hue of foliage slowly takes on the beauty of Fall, my soul feels refreshed. Yet there is something about the weeks leading up to Christmas that stirs within a sense of awe and beauty. Every adult, in brief, surprising moments, feels the the wonder of childhood again…in a carol…in the smell of pine…in the flavor of peppermint…in the ringing bell of the Salvation Army…in the twinkle of a warm white decorative light.

Christmas…

Yearly, as a child of God and believer in the Christ, we review the account of our King’s arrival. In the midst of the cliched hustle and bustle we sincerely desire to recalibrate…to remember…Jesus is at the center of it all. Before he was walking on water, raising the dead, confounding the educated, and dining with the uninitiated, he was “just a kid” from…

A few…his earthly parents…his cousin John…patient Simeon…faithful Anna…they saw who He was and who he was to become. Yet for most, he was likely an innocuous, relatively unnoticed kid in the community. I have always been intrigued by the genealogy introduced in the opening chapter in the Gospel of Matthew. I should also mention Luke also recorded a genealogy in the third chapter of his Gospel. While the genealogy in Matthew clearly traces the ancestry of Joseph, connecting him and Jesus to the royal line of David. Scholars disagree on whether the genealogy of Luke is that of Joseph or Mary. Whatever the case, the point is clear…

Even Jesus has an earthly heritage. His Father saw fit to steward his incarnation for generations through the lineage of people…some royal and righteous…others with a checkered story. I will refrain from all the details, but you have the faith of Abraham who said “yes” to the unknown. You have Jacob who started shady and became Israel. There is a rape victim, a prostitute, a kinsman redeemer, a devoted foreigner, a faithful shepherd, a conquering king, a man of renowned wisdom, some who perpetuated idol worship, others who tore down idols, a couple who were evil in their ways, a couple who were leaders of national revival, builders, restoration experts and a common carpenter…to name a few.

Certainly God didn’t need any of them. He would have been quite capable of simply making the Messiah appear out of thin air. Similar things had happened before in a fiery furnace and on a lonely mountain. Yet God chose to usher in the Hope of heaven and earth through what could easily be called a dysfunctional family.

When you ask people why Christmas is so special, it doesn’t take long for the majority to reference the value of family and time well spent, together. I don’t think its happenstance that a holiday centered on Jesus has a pronounced family element. As you come together this Christmas and you sit around the tree in the midst of the sounds of tearing wrapping paper and the squeals of children…as you look into your parents’ eyes and sit across the table from your grandparents…there is a special opportunity available. For a moment, on occasion, pause and humbly thank God for all it took to get you here…to get you in Christ. None of us got here on our own…

We were all just a kid from…

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