December 20, 2016
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 20 December 2016
"I'm My Own Grandpa" is a novelty song concerning a man who – through an unlikely (yet legal) combination of marriages – became stepfather to his own stepmother, and thus omitting the “step” modifier, he became his own grandfather. According to the song, a widow remarried, and her grown daughter later married her new husband’s father. Each couple had a child, which made the dad of the widow’s new husband to become his son-in-law. His daughter was his mother, cause she was his father’s wife. The father’s wife then had a son, who became the grandchild, because he was his daughter’s son. The man’s wife was now his mother’s mom, which meant that if his wife was his grandmother, then he was his own grandchild, and as husband of his grandmother, he was his own grandpa.
While the song is comedic, there is a bitter reality to it because modern families are unfortunately too frequently estranged. The painful experiences of abandonment, divorce, and dysfunction can leave many wondering who they are and what is the precise nature of their origins. Nevertheless, the majority of people have an instinctual desire to know their ancestry, which can manifest in simple curiosity or a fervent longing. The perception is that one’s familial origins may somehow explain a person’s being.
The yearning for identity helps explain the tremendous popularity of Alex Haley’s “Roots,” which is the most popular miniseries in the history of television. Haley was an African-American descendant of slaves, who journeyed thousands of miles for years across several continents to obtain understanding into his identity. Numerous books today explain how to discover one’s ancestry and thus satisfy the recent surge of interest in genealogies, even providing the ability to obtain certified records to discover one’s lineage worldwide.
When contemplating royalty and succession to thrones, Americans typically imagine the British monarchy. Determining who is the legal heir to the British throne is apparent to everyone; however, in years past, succession could be rather perplexing. Genealogies were vital in biblical times because they validated one’s lineage. Ancient Israel did not have any problems identifying their ancestry because every Jewish citizen had access to scrupulous records that were stored in the Jerusalem Temple.
People who were determined to maintain their unique identity greatly esteemed meticulous accounts of their lineage. Genealogical records were especially important for identifying the royal lineage of the ancient Hebrew kings. The Gospel of Matthew begins with a royal genealogy that identifies Jesus the Messiah as King of Israel for he is “the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
Matthew was concerned to prove Jesus’ lineage because his genealogy validated Jesus as the son of Abraham and David, which proved his legal ancestry by which He was the legitimate successor to the throne of David. What relevancy does Jesus’ genealogy have for the individual believer? December is the month that Christians (particularly) celebrate the coming Messiah. The New Testament teaches that Christians are fellow heirs with Christ, and will reign with Him in his coming kingdom.
Newly elected officials are provided information and training to help them serve effectively. Similarly, the Christian is to heed the information and training that God’s Word – the Holy Bible – provides, and to do so with a life devotion that seeks to glory the Lord and receive his blessing. With that thought in mind, the Christian should read Matthew 1, and ask, “Am I living a life of righteousness befitting of a fellow heir?” During this Christmas season, in addition to each and every day, “let us reason together” (Isa 1:18) and praise God for his righteousness which is only received by grace through faith, and also obtain his wisdom that is received “in faith without any doubting” (Jas 1:6).
Your Capitol Missionary-Pastor,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Nearly one-third (31%) of all annual giving occurs in December. Please remember Capitol Commission Georgia in your end-of-year giving (in addition to your missionary budgets for 2017), which is vital to us as God continues to grow and expand this ministry. Thank you to those who are already strategic prayer and financial partners with us in reaching Capitol communities for Christ.
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.