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Immerse: Chronicles Week 1

Genealogies - Recipes for Connection

Do you have an old family recipe that is your “go-to” recipe for special events?  Maybe it’s a secret way your mom taught you to make chocolate chip cookies that melt in your mouth. Or maybe it’s a meat loaf from your grandma on your father’s side. Or maybe it’s a homemade spice rub for ribs you learned from your Uncle Kenny.

Whichever it is, it has likely become popular within your family and maybe even legendary at outside gatherings, too.  What’s great about recipes like this is not just the delicious flavors and satisfied bellies they provide, but the beautiful story of family traditions and special experiences cooking together or even simply talking around the dinner table. It signifies a connection to previous generations. It strengthens the ties to the past and the present and lessens the distance between the two. Good times, glorious meals and great memories.
Genealogies do the same thing.

This week, as we begin our Immerse: Chronicles reading, we might be facing one of our biggest challenges of our entire time reading through the Immerse series so far.  See, this week, we are reading 1 Chronicles 1-9 (pages 1-20), which contains nothing but genealogies. Genealogies are basically lists of ancestors or descendants. The most famous one is likely from Matthew 1 or Luke 1, which traces the family lineage of Jesus and contains all sorts of hard to pronounce names, but this list in 1 Chronicles puts that one to shame.  This one has ancestors of Abraham, Judah, Caleb, the leaders of Edom, the tribes of Israel, descendants of David, all the kings of Israel and on and on and on.

It would be easy just to skip these chapters and chalk it up as “culturally irrelevant and outdated,” but let me help you see it from a different perspective.

Chronicles was composed after the exile and the return from Babylon.  This was a people who had felt defeated for more than a century. Their land was barren, their walls torn down, their temple destroyed. There was nothing left behind for them. Nothing.

Chronicles served as a reminder of where they came from. Chronicles, through the listing of names, gave them a connection to the past and brought it into the present.  As they read through Chronicles, they were reminded of what once took place in this land. They were reminded of the faithfulness of previous generations (and the unfaithfulness, too). They were reminded of God’s constant presence through it all.  This was no made up story. This was their story, and they were now given the responsibility to pick up the pieces of the story and start writing the next chapter in the story. The story that began with Adam, took a sudden turn through Noah, brought hope through Abraham, deliverance through Moses, victory through Joshua and Caleb, and peace and prosperity through David. It was up to them to write the next chapter in the story; the story that would one day lead to the exciting and climactic entrance of the Messiah into the story.

They did their part. They carried on and pushed forward. They persevered and endured. And because of their efforts, the story continued to be written.

Today, you have a chance to be inspired by the stories of the past, and may it move you to continue writing the stories of the future. Good times, glorious stories and great faith. Start writing your story today.