Christmas Tree (Family Tree - Week 1)
You might be interested to know that trees are a big deal in Scripture as well. Cover to cover, the Bible speaks of trees.
The Psalmist compares humanity, who delight in the Lord, to a tree planted by streams of water. Whatever they do prosper. (Psalm 1:3)
Jeremiah 17:7–8 (NRSV) 7Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. 8They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.
Jesus had some interactions with trees.
· One day he was hungry and went to a fig tree, but it didn’t have any figs. So Jesus cursed the fig tree and it withered up and died.
· As Jesus was teaching he used a tree bearing fruit to reveal that you can tell what it is in a person’s heart not by words, but by the fruit of their lives.
Matthew 7:17 (NRSV) 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
Paul spoke about a tree as he taught about the fruit of the Spirit.
Those who belong to Jesus produce fruit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
We all secretly hope there is champion back there, someone that mattered, someone that made a difference.
You don’t get to choose your family.
If we are not careful, we begin to believe some of those things about ourselves.
· I am less because of where I grew up, so I had better perform or pose.
· I can’t beat this; it’s been part of my family tree—my dad, my grandfather and his Dad before him.
· My mom left and her mom left, so I guess that will be true of me.
If Jesus had people like that in his family tree, is there a place for me in his family?
Matthew 1:1–2 (NRSV) An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers (eventually became the 12 tribes of Israel),
Tamar is one of those growths of a family you would want to prune out of a family tree. The story is told in Genesis 37
Romans 11:17–24 (NRSV) 17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot (Gentile believers), were graftedin their place to share the rich root of the olive tree,
Grafting is this process where the good tree is cut into or wounded. And then the branch is cut and inserted into the wound of the healthy tree. The branch is then secured there until it becomes part of the healthy tree.
And that is how we can all become part of Jesus’ family tree. Jesus was wounded so we could be grafted in. He bled so we could live. He scarred so we could be called sons and daughters.
And today, as Christians, this is a good idea for us to celebrate.
· Though our world is dark and cold, darkness doesn’t win.
· Though our families are dysfunctional and painful, darkness doesn’t win
· Though our bodies are riddled with disease and pain, darkness doesn’t win.
· Though our emotions are run down with depression and worry, darkness doesn’t win.
· Though our battles are strong and fierce, darkness doesn’t win.
· Though our enemy is prowling like a lion, darkness doesn’t win.
Through all our stories this morning we literally had a common thread. Tamar had the cord of Judah. Rahab hung a cord out the window. The Passover involved red blood over a doorway so the families could be saved. Jesus shed his blood so we could be saved.