We don’t have to prove our ancestry to know that we are children of God.
“Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had father Abraham. I am one of them and so are you, so let’s all praise the Lord.” Sunday School children learn this song every year, and it ultimately involves waving arms, legs, heads, bottoms and finally falling down. A good energy burner.
But it contains an interesting premise – I am a child of Abraham – not that I could prove it.
I have done some ancestry searching and even found family links back to before the American Revolution. But consider from the time of Christ to the American Revolution was about 1750 years or 70 to 85 generations assuming 20-25 years per generation – that’s a great many generations/people. Who knows what kind of ancestor slipped in there – maybe a king or a pirate – maybe a Roman, a Greek, a German, a Brit, a Scot – maybe a Philistine, a Hittite, a Jebusite, or a Hebrew,? I know there was one Union soldier who marched with Sherman and one Confederate who lost a leg to a bouncing cannon ball.
Romans 9:6ff reads,
“For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,
and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring,
but ‘Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.’
This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God,
but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.”
So, while ancestry is fun information, I don’t need to to prove through ancestry that I am one of God’s people, a child of Abraham, a child of God.
One of my favorite statements of this promise is Ephesians 2:8 & 9 which reads,
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
That is good news, it is not up to me. So as the song says I am a child of Abraham and I should praise the Lord.
Maybe we should sing that song in church, because isn’t that what it is all about – being a child of God and praising Him? Extrapolating from Luke 19:40, “If man keeps silent, Jesus says the stones would start to cry out,” and that would be weird.
Lord, give to each of us the courage to acknowledge you in everything we do and to everyone we know. Amen
Copyright Gerald Givens
Gerald Givens is a retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel (1969-1991) and contract satellite engineer/program manager (1991-2011). He was born on 16 March 1945, and blessed to be baptized in April 1945, and married to his lovely wife, Karen, on 23 December 1967. He has served HCLC as Lay Minister and member of the Board of Directors. For many years he served with Karen and a third grade and kindergarten Sunday School teacher. Recently he has led many Financial Peace University classes and co-chaired with Karen the Holy Cross Momentum emphasis,”SOAR” which brought Biblically based financial management training to the broader Holy Cross community.