“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” — Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)
Imagine looking into your genealogy and finding something unexpected. Like George W. Bush uncovering he’s related to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. Or Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, discovering she’s connected to George Washington. This scandalous news would not be something they want the world to know. But Jesus has blemishes in his lineage he shows to the world.
Take Rahab, for example (from Joshua 2). I can relate to Rahab, feeling unacceptable to be in Jesus’s lineage. I have looked for love in all the wrong places. Given my heart too quickly to someone to whom it should have never belonged. I hold onto attitudes that tear my spirit in two and harden my heart. I have believed the lie that I am broken and not worth Jesus’ time or attention. That is a lie from the enemy of my soul who wants to lie, steal and kill my joy and separate me from my Heavenly Father.
Like Rahab, I also found the one true God of Israel, who is God of the universe. He has taken the broken pieces of my life and created something new and beautiful. The Japanese have an art form called kintsugi. Broken pieces of pottery are put back together with threads of gold to be more lovely than before being broken. This is a beautiful picture of how Jesus repairs the devastation of my past with something more precious than gold. The flow of his blood transforms and makes beauty from the damage.
• For more about kintsugi, see our Broken Wholeness series from 2020.
Anticipating the spies’ imminent return, Rahab tied a scarlet cord to the window. It was a sign of protection over the home and everyone in it. God spared her and her family because of her obedience and trust. He also redeemed her past and grafted her into Israel’s family as a chosen ancestor of Jesus.
God redeems our past, as he did for Rahab. How will we live in response to the gift of God’s rescue? On Sunday, Pastor Luke asked us to consider how we welcome strangers into our lives, like Rahab welcomed the spies into her home. Are we inviting others so they can come and see Jesus? Are we living welcoming lives? His admonition challenged me, and I will pray how I can be more inviting to non-believing neighbors, family and friends.
Surrendering our comfort zones and moving in obedience is not easy. However, God will take our yielding and use it for his glory. Like Rahab, the results are beyond what we can ask or imagine. We can take heart as we walk forward in faith.