“Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah” Matthew 1:17
Vive ut Vivas are the family words of my heritage the Craig’s of Scotland. It started out much like my adult life did, “live that you may live.” Live without fear of possible future consequences. Live like there is no tomorrow. It grew over time as did I, still growing. It eventually grew to “Live that you may live forever,” and some even added “with God.” My family is one that has three common threads, for at one point in time we were known for three things and most of the clan fit two of the three, fierce warriors, powerful religious leaders and even more powerful drunkards.
Now for most those aren’t the three things that one would seek. That is part of my heritage and biblically speaking, the earthly heritage that means more. Now I will amend right here to say that divine heritage trumps earthly, but it is no less important. I say this because the first words written by Matthew were Jesus’ genealogy. Blood is blood and the covenant that was made so very long ago was one of blood.
The blood is important, and we will get back to it. I have mentioned before that one of my favorite books of the bible is the book of Ecclesiastes, the book of toil as I have heard it called. Through all the toil I find my family motto buried in there. Written by Solomon probably late in life in the 9th chapter we find this wisdom, “Go, eat your food with gladness and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved of what you do. Always be clothed in white, and anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun – all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.” (Eccl. 9:7-9)
Enjoy the life that God has given to you, and enjoy the blessings he has poured out on you. God has blessed you with many things that we do not see. He has worked in many ways to get you right where he wants you to be to do what he wants you to do. Live life so that you may live. There is a power in words that cannot be denied. Many times however these words can be misquoted or taken out of context.
You can pick apart the passage that I quoted above and suggest, “Do what you want, because God approves of it.” Or you may get, “See I can drink all I want, God wants me to.” You may even focus on the fact that this life is meaningless, so there is no point in anything you do. That certainly is not what God would want us to take from that I’m sure.
Many times we seek to understand what God has in store for us, and we simply fall short. It is not until the plan comes together that we are able to see that there was a plan at all. I think that is what Solomon was talking about there. So how does one live life? Enjoy good food, those you love and do things that are fun. Spending time with others that you care for.
Now going back to blood, there are many things that we have proven with science that we are predispositioned to based on our blood. For me, they aren’t all good things. Looking back to my family’s history I understand where a lot of it comes from. But that’s not where the importance of blood stops. Now for me one of the most painful books of the bible to read is 1st Chronicles. Why is a whole book of the bible taken up with such and such is the son of so and so if there was not some importance to draw from it?
I think it is clear that it is very important to understand the heritage. From Adam to Jesus we have a pretty clear chronicle of father to son. Now we don’t always have a clear answer as to where these wives came from, but we have come a long way from when women were a step above a donkey. The reason it was tracked was to keep an account of the covenant.
God made a covenant with Israel and until Jesus adopted us into that covenant we were basically screwed. It was to hell with us. Now there were ways you could become adopted into the family, but for most of us we wouldn’t get past the first interview. Even more of us would get to that last part of initiation and say no way. “So you’re going to cut off a piece of what!? No way man, you’re out of your mind.”
So as I said, most of us would have been out. God knew this. God spoke to many along the way about what would be coming. Isaiah 9:6 predicted the birth of the Messiah and on down in verse seven, he will reign on David’s Throne. Again with this heritage thing. So we fast forward a few centuries we get to Jesus.
The first book of the new testament give us heritage. Blood is important, but it was about to become even more so. Jesus was about to open doors that were locked by fulfillment of the Covenant he was allowed to make a new covenant with all the people of the world. The oaths had to be fulfilled before a new oath could be sworn.
I am not saying that Jesus made the Old Testament null and void. On the contrary, he fulfilled the whole of the law because we could not do so ourselves. He came to be the circumcision, the sacrifice to end all sacrifices and the blood to make us all blood. This week I have read Daniel chapter 9 quite a bit. It’s a dark time for the Jews and most of it is a prayer to God.
The words said in that chapter are rare in the Old testament outside of Psalms. It is not for our righteousness, but yours. We have sinned against you father, but we know that you are merciful and love us. It was a plead for God to forgive Israel for the 5,000th time. Proof that we have changed a lot over the years, but still are so much the same.
You will find this same message coming from Jesus, Paul and many others in the bible. We are not worthy, but God you are faithful. We are dirty and should be cast aside, but you lift us up. Part of this was his promise and his words, and part of that is the blood. You cannot have just one without the other. It did not matter how good we were, without the blood, we were not family. Without Jesus pouring out onto us that we could not get otherwise, we would still be lost.
So through my life as an adult, I have been able to see the evolution of my family motto through the blood of Christ. I lived life like there were no consequences thinking that was the way to live life to the fullest. That is not the heart of things. We must live life to the fullest, but the only way we can do that is if we are living so we may live forever. The only way to live forever is through Christ Jesus and through adding another family blood to our own.
I wonder how many Nazi thought themselves Christian? Did they not realize that they were killing their kin? We are all baptized into the family that is to inherit all. We are all baptized to be Jews, granted adopted ones, but none the less. We are now part of the family, and all we have to do is ask. No more cutting, lamb killing or anything else. All we have to do is accept the Jesus is the Lord and our savior and he will dwell within us.
That part of it is where the transformations begin. Make me pure and cleanse me again. We are all his children and through acceptance of that we get the full inheritance, and not just a piece. Still after all this time though, my family has changed a lot. Many things still remain true, we have many holy men and women, many drunks and many men and women that fight and die for what we believe. I am proud that I am a Craig, but my divine heritage is one that will last long after my flesh is gone. I’m glad that I am an adopted son of Abraham. Uncle Solomon has a nice ring to it to me.
I leave you with this, Live life, enjoy life, love life and keep God in the center of it and you will know the meaning of a fulfilled life. God makes the most wonderful things happen and the closer you draw to him the more you realize that he is closer than you would think. I raise my shield to my brothers and sisters this night.
Vive ut Vivas Deo Faventeby