Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.
Psalm 112, 6 NIV
Antonius Collegean was a spice merchant and trader who emigrated from France to Germany around 1695. He was a Huguenot who was persecuted for his faith. In Germany he married a native and started a family with her. They had a son and he too started a family and so it goes on, generation after generation, to a daughter called Maria, whose granddaughter I am. I have discovered a new hobby. Genealogy. With the help of an Internet program, we can enter names and dates and receive various links to birth registers, marriage and death registers, partly even from around the world. I have found out so many interesting things about my ancestors. There I read all the names of my ancestors. Sometimes the profession is mentioned or in which army they served. I try to figure out more about the life situations of these families. So many stories and fates that are long gone and forgotten.
The Bible also has its family trees and genealogies. How often do we skip these when we read our Bibles. But they already begin in the first chapters of the Bible and run like a common thread throughout the Bible, across the centuries and millennia. It is as if flags were posted on the timeline again and again.
The very first chapter in the New Testament begins with the family tree of Jesus. There, in the background, we find the stories of his ancestors. They are poor and rich, royal families, patchwork families, families with intercultural backgrounds, single parents. They are people with whom God made history, who have a place in God's genealogy.
When I come back to my family tree, I hardly know anything about the life stories of these families at the beginning. I only have a few names and numbers. One daughter was Barbara, my great-grandmother. That's where it gets interesting for me, because I was told about her by her daughter Maria, my grandmother. About her and her son, my father, I know more. That is where it becomes personal, as I have experienced them and I know their life stories. Through them I also got to know about God and his guidance. Once we have a personal relationship with people, we are interested in them.
And that is how it is with God, He desires a personal relationship with you and me. He is this very personal God who gets involved with people, as he has done at all times for thousands of years. God remembers you and me. He does not forget us, he gives us a future no matter what our past is. The Bible tells us that God has promised to be our Father: “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:18). That is what I want to be, a daughter in God's family tree. What about you?