Most people have some family pictures. The ones with the folks lined up looking either serious or happy, depending on whether it was taken at a funeral or a picnic. As a kid I remember staring at a beautiful young woman in an old picture…I was told it was my grandmother. I would stare at the picture and then turn and look at my grandmother sitting at the table. Could this really be the same person?
I look at the same picture now, and I’m closer in age to my grandmother than to the young girl who looked at the picture all those years ago. What I look for now is family resemblances. Whose nose is that? I’ve seen it again in my sister and her son. I look in the mirror, and wonder, do I have my great grandfather’s eyes?
We inherit lots of things from our families. Last week in my sermon I talked about how we inherit bad habits, sinful traits and dysfunction, using the story of Joseph as an example. This week we continue the theme, but on a more positive note. Joseph inherited something excellent from his family, but it was something he had to wrestle with. God was working in his family, and God was working in Joseph’s life.
This week, I invite you to come to church carrying two things. Carry a picture of yourself and your ancestors/descendents…your parents/grandparents or children/grandchildren, and put it in our historical cabinet. Just make sure you are in the picture! We’re making a display of family pictures. It will be interesting to look at, and maybe it will remind us of the way God works in families. I also want you to carry something in your mind…what is the greatest quality you have inherited from your parents or grandparents? Can you put your finger on it? What would it be?
As we go about our week, remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in Haiti whose lives have been turned inside out by the earthquake. You can make a donation for relief work in Haiti through MCC, by designating your church offering to MCC-Haiti Earthquake.
God of hope, give courage and endurance to survivors of Haiti’s earthquake, and strength and resourcefulness to rescuers and aid workers. Open the hearts of the world to reach out in support for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.