We know the familiar stories like Noah and the Ark; we know the famous people, like Mary and David – but what about those people who might only be mentioned once in the Bible (in the lineages in Matthew and Luke)? What about those folks that Jesus might have heard about at bedtime? What about the women, the prophets, the exiles who, while not linked to Jesus genetically, nevertheless passed on their spiritual DNA to him and to us?
They are just as much a part of his heritage, his family, his tree as all his relatives by blood and by marriage. They are a part of the tradition and faith we seek to pass on to our children and grandchildren. They are branches on the Jesse tree.
Thom Shuman is a poet, a pastor in Columbus, Ohio and an Associate member of the Iona Community. His website Occasional Sightings of the Gospel (quirky, sometimes irreverent, hopefully relevant reflections on where God is working in the world and in our lives) is visited by people every day from all over the world. Thom’s writing is humorous, passionate, rooted and always deeply human.