Recently I’ve noticed a trend occurring in people my age and older; we become very interested in our heritage, our genealogy, who our ancestors were and where they came from. We want to know what they accomplished with their lives. I suppose unlike when we were younger we now realize the frailty of life and long to know that we belong to something.
Dana and I have just completed our Pre-Departure training at WorldVenture. The wheels are turning quickly now as we begin the process and preparation to depart for Ghana. We have targeted a departure date of May 7th.
Each day during Pre-Departure training one of the IMD’s (International Mission Directors – representing the America’s, Africa, Europe & Asia) shared a devotion to help us begin our day in Scripture and with direction. Dana & I were riveted by the Asia IMD’s devotion. He invited us into the lobby area at WorldVenture where a Memoriam Plaque on the wall was mounted. He began telling fascinating stories about some of the names that were written on this plaque and each story had a common ending. The name represented a WorldVenture missionary who died while serving on the mission field.
In Hebrews chapter 11, there is a list of names representing a family tree, a genealogy, a thread, of people who faithfully played a part in the Kingdom of God through the hope of the Gospel. We were reminded that we are connected to this genealogy, to this family of faith through Jesus Christ. Just as we are part of the family of WorldVenture and those who gave their lives serving our Great King, we are part of the thread of the Gospel being shared with others. We are hopeful that they too will enter into this faith family. We became part of this genealogy because someone shared the Gospel with us. And for the family to continue we must share the Gospel with others. Just imagine that when we are in heaven one day someone walks up to you and says, “hey, I just visited ancestory-faith.com and YOU are my ancestor. Because you faithfully shared the gospel with someone, they shared it with someone else, and eventually it was shared with me! We are connected!”
It’s a delight to be part of the thread of the Gospel being woven throughout the nations. Through faith we are part of the genealogy of Jesus. Unlike earthly genealogies, that represent those who have passed from life to death, the genealogy of Jesus represents those who have passed from death to life – never to die but to enjoy being in the presence of our supreme ancestor – Jesus Christ – forever!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2