Another great night at axis on Wednesday. I find myself just loving the kids in our youth ministry and I am very proud of them. I feel like my heart for them has never been stronger. We had a fun Minute to Win It game and we also had an amazing time of singing and worshipping Jesus. Our teaching during the night revolved around the earthly family tree of Jesus Christ. I read the first 16 verses of Matthew 1 (which is an accomplishment in and of itself with all of those names!) I then talked about a few of the names that were listed in Jesus' eartly family tree ... names like Tamar who posed as a prostitute and slept with her father-in-law in order to get pregnant (Genesis 38) ... Rahab, a prostitute ... Manasseh, who was just an evil king and the Message paraphrase in 2 Kings 21 says "that in God's judgment it was a career of evil." There were several other names that we talked about but the point was that when God chose the family tree to bring Jesus from, He did not bring Jesus from the best pedigree and the perfect family. He brought Him an ancestry with a history ... it wasn't all perfect and pretty. There was some ugly stuff in there. And, to me, it's just the amazing story of God's grace ... no matter what you've done or what's been done to you, God's plan is still bigger than it all.
I LOVE all the other stuff about the Christmas story ... the virgin birth, the angels in the sky, the shepherds, the wise men ... but it's all so miraculous that I just can't comprehend it. I believe it ... but it's so miraculous that's it's beyond my understanding. But this part of the Christmas story I understand. It's people with a history and yet God brought the Savior of the world out of it. I wrapped everything up by really trying to emphasize the fact to our kids that God believes in them and wants to redeem their pasts ... their histories ... and turn them in to something amazing. We can have a "history" or we can have a "HIStory."