“Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. Understand then, that all who believe are children of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:6,7). I’m a child of the King, a member of the family of God, the family of faith. I’ve got a new family tree that includes Jacob, the father of the nation of Israel.
One of my great-great-great-great-great-great and really great grandaddys got to part the Red Sea with a big stick. My great uncle, King David, knocked an evil giant on his heinie with a sling and a song, cut off his head, and then held it up for show and tell. He was a songwriter who made the Beatles look like nobodies in comparison; he wrote “As the Deer” and “Create in Me a Clean Heart” and most of the Psalms, actually. And his son Solomon, also in my family, was the wisest man on earth (I’d like to think that runs in the family). One of my granddaddys was a prolific prophet who stood in the courts of heaven and wrote the book of Isaiah, cause that’s his name. My auntie Ruth was no slouch either; she became the very definition of loyalty. Oh, and my other aunt, named Esther, was a hottie—I mean, beauty queen—with an actual brain in her head and courage in her heart. She saved the whole family line at one point. Booya!
And then there was great grandma Mary, who became the mother of none other than Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. I’m also related to great uncle Peter, who walked on water and walked with Jesus and who’s flippin’ shadow could heal people. I also stand in the family line of St. Augustine, one of the greatest church fathers and thinkers of all time. I’m related by faith to Martin Luther, who posted the 95 theses on the Wittenburg door. My relatives were the first missionaries to China and India and Africa and North America and everywhere, actually. They founded the Salvation Army and freed the slaves in the South and gave safe haven to the Jews in Nazi Germany and invented the Printing Press and painted the Sistine Chapel. Maybe you’ve heard of Copernicus, Pasteur, Pascal, Mendel, Bach, and Mead? Or perhaps Handel, Newton, Bunyan, or Ten Boom? I’m even related to grampa Billy Graham.
My true family through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; my people shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword. In MY family, weakness was turned to strength; my family became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Some of our women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others of us were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them.
And I’ve become part of that story, that mission to change the world. I’m one of them. They’re one of me. Which is why, with such a great cloud of family pictures lining my hallway and family gatherings happening all over the world every weekend, I’ve decided to run the race marked out for me. Which is why I’ve decided to live a life worthy of the calling I’ve received.