Who is my mother and who are my brothers?

Genealogy studies are becoming increasingly popular. Tracing our roots has never been easier with new technology and relatively inexpensive DNA testing kits. A few months ago, I sent a sample of my saliva to the lab for DNA analysis, and I promised to share the results with all of you. It turns out that I am primarily of Irish/Scandinavian descent. I am 39% Irish and 28% Scandinavian to be exact. While my white hair and blues eyes are a dead give away for the Scandinavian part, I was still surprised that I am only 2% British. I do have the characteristic Irish freckles, but some of my other family members were recipients of the bright red hair. Broken down even further, my DNA revealed that I am of 17% Western European, 7% Iberian Peninsula, 4% West Asia/Caucasus, 2% Northern Africa and less than 1% Finnish/Northwest Russian descent. I found this so fascinating, that I ordered Sally a DNA testing kit for an early Christmas present! She can’t wait to get her results!

While it is intriguing to know the origins of our lineage and ethnicity, it is even more interesting to discover where some of ancestors lived and what they did in their lifetimes. I can imagine that some Viking ancestor of mine fell in love with one my Irish ancestors after their land was being pillaged by Viking invaders. It probably wasn’t that simple, nor romantic. It was likely very messy. Some ancestors may have come from very humble origins, while others may have held positions of high prominence. In tracing my roots, it was revealed that I am directly descended from a line of several royal and historical figures! Sally obviously isn’t impressed as I certainly haven’t been treated like a king around home! When I told one of my cousins about our “royal” bloodline, he remarked, “Then, what happened to us?”

Even more fascinating is tracing the genealogy of Jesus. Through his mother Mary’s and earthly father, Joseph’s lineages we find a variety of interesting people from the humblest of circumstances to the most powerful. From Adam, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to Rahab, Boaz, Ruth, Obed, Jesse, David and Solomon, we find the faithful and unfaithful alike. We find there are notably effective and faithful leaders, such as David, but who also committed adultery and murder. We have the story of Rahab, who while being a prostitute, also assisted the Israelites in capturing Jericho by allowing the Israelite spies to hide in her home. The genealogy that led to Jesus is filled with stories of people who made bad decisions, committed atrocious acts and repeatedly made mistakes. Our genealogies are likely no different. However, it is by the grace of Christ that there is hope for us and for the generations that follow us. An added bonus is that we can all claim “royalty” in kinship with Him! Jesus replied, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother,” (Matt. 12:46-50, NIV).

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!