We talked of family on Sunday after the sermon was about the genealogy of Christ from Matthew 1. One man near me said, "My family tree was a stump," jokingly. That was actually the theme of the sermon in a way: Families have dysfunction, whether or not we want to admit it, and if you are uncomfortable with that, look no further than Christ's family tree as noted in Matthew (concluding with Christ being the only way to remove the stain of family dysfunction, including his own).
Pastor noted, in a humorous say, "Everyone has that uncle, and you (those of us in the room) may be that uncle." Indeed, my dad spoke of an uncle in his family, his mother's brother, who was "a hobo." Never heard that phrase? It is nicely defined in Google as "a homeless vagabond, unlike a tramp who works only when forced to, or a bum who doesn't work, a 'hobo' is a traveling worker." Dad said that his uncle, the hobo, would come bearing gifts, usually candy, for him and all his sisters, to his mother's chagrin. This hobo (I believe his name is George, and his skill was carpentry - perfect for the life of a hobo out to see the world) would usually be heard singing a song (my dad sang it one time, and it was funny because he imitated how he sang it) as he came down the street. The kids would get excited and the mom (my grandmother) would shake her head. I asked what my grandfather thought of it recently and my aunt said, "He amazingly didn't care when he came to the house and he'd let him stay until he went on his way."
So, we may indeed have that uncle or actually be that uncle (it has always been my goal to be that uncle to a degree, why be boring?). And to my friend who said his family tree was a stump, he's in great company. "There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him." (Isaiah 11:1 and 2a)
Matthew meticulously documents that branch that comes from the stump of Jesse's. It starts as a shoot (a young branch) and grows to produce fruit. Matthew states, "So all the generations from Abraham to David were 14 generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon were 14 generations, and from the deportation of Babylon to the Christ 14 generations." (1:17) Twenty-eight generations from "Jesse's stump" to the birth of Christ, who is that shoot that eventually becomes the fruit-bearing branch with the Spirit of the Lord resting upon him.
Christ is that shoot in all of our family trees, taking our unbelief and creating that fruit in us as we grow in our faith. Our Advent journey continues as we continue to prepare for the coming of Christ.
Hope Men's Ministry