More and more people are interested in their family trees. I believe that’s because we are searching for an identity. Of course, we want our search to reveal an amazing individual or two that we can claim. Perhaps, we can find a great-many-times-over-grandmother or grandfather, who wowed the world by stitching the first flag, signing the Declaration of Independence, or inventing the light bulb. If we found such persons, we would be interested in reading their biographies because we would want to know them on a personal level.
But we would probably find a few skeletons in their closets. Sin and falling short are in all our stories, since we were all born into the family tree of Adam. However, a new tree grew up out of the soil of humanity! This tree is called the Family of God Tree. The trunk is Jesus and the roots are the promises of salvation and justification that were made to Abraham (Romans 4:16). Through belief in Jesus, we are branches that were cut from that first tree and grafted into the new tree. Our roots no longer go back to Adam!
We are no longer as interested in finding an amazing person in history; our main interest is in the person of Jesus Christ and our personal relationship with him. That being said, there is still a desire to search in our family tree. Now, we search for a different reason. Who among the members of our personal family tree had a relationship with God through Jesus Christ? The answer to this question is important, because, through their faith, they were instrumental in grafting us into the Family of God Tree.
Mothers (and fathers) may pray for their children, grandchildren and all the future, unborn children in their family lines. When we carry on this sacred tradition, we are praying forward all the future generations. A prayer of this nature can read, “Dear heavenly Father, may our children and grandchildren be protected in their youth; may they grow to know, love, and serve you. May they marry godly men and women and raise their children to know, love, and serve you.”
There were many mothers and fathers praying for us between Abraham and us. In fact, Abraham was praying for us! He prayed for all his children, all those stars in the sky (Genesis 22:17), and each believer is one of them (Galatians 3:7)! In heaven, there will be a great family reunion. We will know those persons, who prayed for us. Besides seeing them, we will see the faceless, nameless children who will come after us. They will then be known to us, and we will be known to them.
There is a family identity for all those whose faith roots go back to Abraham. God is our Father and our identity is found in the Promise Fulfilled, Jesus Christ.
~ Alice Cecil