Telling the family story…

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Scripture: Psalm 136:10 (Our God) struck Egypt through their firstborn, for his steadfast love endures forever; 11 and brought Israel out from among them, for his steadfast love endures forever; 12 with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever; 13 who divided the Red Sea in two, for his steadfast love endures forever; 14 and made Israel pass through the midst of it, for his steadfast love endures forever; 15 but overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, for his steadfast love endures forever; 16 who led his people through the wilderness, for his steadfast love endures forever…”

Observation: This entire psalm tells the story of God’s faithfulness to his people. God’s mighty acts are recounted with the refrain “for his steadfast love endures forever”.

Application: A few months ago I had the privilege of meeting one of my cousins (Monica) for the first time. It’s a long story, but suffice to say that Monica’s father, my uncle, was estranged from the family for many years – hence she was too. Upon my uncle’s recent death, she reached out to me and we decided to meet for dinner.

Turns out she knew almost nothing about our her father’s side of the family – which I suppose is understandable since she was kept at a distance. We talked for hours as I listened to her story, then told her some of our family history – key people, places, events, and so on. It made me sad to realize she knew so little about her own family, but it blessed me to be able to shed some light for her. We agreed to meet again sometime soon.

The conversation reminded me the importance of story and family history – even if it’s a painful family history. Our common story helps us understand who we are and whose we are. As I read the psalm this morning I realized this is what the writer is doing. He is telling the story of the family of God. He’s telling our story.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give us grace that we might learn – and teach – our family story. Not just our biological family, but our spiritual family in Jesus Christ. Amen.

One thought on “Telling the family story…

  1. Bjmanke

    Talking about family history, a number of years ago I took a class at Austin College in Sherman on how to write a legacy. You would go out to a home where a close friend or relative had requested some type of legacy and you would interview this person or relative. Almost all of the patients were terminally ill, and they would tell the story of their life. It was sad but I was filling a need for these families. I don’t know if they have something like that in Dallas….God Bless. BJ

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