This last week in our church we kicked off our Godly Play Sunday School curriculum with the “Holy Family” lesson. (Listen to the lesson and reflection here.) Before the lesson I read the genealogy of Jesus from Matthew 1 and was really struck by the diversity in Jesus’ lineage. There are widows, adulterers, murderers, women forced into prostitution, immigrants, Gentiles, displaced peoples, kings, shepherds, wealthy, poor, righteous and wicked. They are all in there, and God worked through all of them to bring us a baby born in a barn to a poor couple who would change the way the world works. Each of the people in that line no matter what their earthly condition contributed to God’s work in the world by the simple act of being human, having a family, raising kids, and living their lives as people in a hard world. Some did well, others not so much, but each one was necessary, each one brought us one step closer to the coming of Jesus.
What this genealogy brought home to me was my own exclusivity, the fact that there were people who I didn’t want to find God within, that I didn’t want to hear God speak through. I had to confront, again, my own failing to live out the core teaching of my faith, the core Quaker truth that every person has the ability to listen to, hear from, and speak from that inward teacher that George Fox taught is Jesus Christ, come to teach his people himself. If I truly desire to follow this way of the Friends I am going to have to start listening to and recognizing the Christ within that the people I would rather he not speak through each bear.
The query I ended the service with is the query I share with you: I wonder if there is any part of God’s family that we have left out?