WARNING PREACHY… (and unedited)
NOTE: This morning I am typing this with my thumbs on my iPod: please forgive and expect typos.
In the discovery of who Jesus is, I am mindful of his humanity. When The Word Became flesh, when Emmanuel (which means God with us) came to earth and dwelt among us, when the child was born and laid in the manger, God entered into our world in a specific human lineage.
If I were God coming to earth, I would have inserted myself into the world by becoming a part of a high-born wealthy family. A family where I was guaranteed the comforts of life and one without any blemishes in the blood line.
When I married into my wife's family I knew I was marrying up. Seriously, my wife was college educated and both of her parents had Masters Degrees. At the time, I don't think anyone (even cousins) in my family was college educated, in fact, neither of my parents even had a high school diploma. Her father had written and published a few books while my father simply read books. Her family was white collar and mine was desperately blue. All of this indicates to me that I was marrying into a different class of people.
When my wife's great grandmother died, my father in-law went through her personal effects and found journals, letters, and other family related historical documents. He laughs as he relates what he's learned but he hasn't been too specific. He indicated that the family line is not as pure as the driven snow as we have always thought. That in the lineage of this family that I married up into is a history of some stuff that makes our families seems so very equal. There's something very comforting in that I think.
Now back to the lineage of Jesus.
A man named Judah, the fourth son of Jacob, had a son who died and left a widow. Years later Judah came upon a prostitute and lay with her. A few months later he was told his son's widow was guilty of prostitution so he ordered that she should be burned to death. However the daughter-in-law proved that it was her father-in-law Judah's baby so she got out of having to burn. So she had the baby and named the child Perez.
The lineage of Jesus Christ...
Abraham the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah,
Judah the father of Perez.
When God inserted himself into humanity, he didn't do so by putting himself into the best and cleanest family tree he could find, he placed himself into one with many spots and wrinkles and at least two prostitutes.
Somehow, this comforts me; it makes our families seem more equal.