By Dave Norton
Genealogy is defined as a study of one’s ancestral lineage. This is a most interesting pursuit, one that my brothers and I have conducted for nearly 30 years. The work on our family tree is a continuation of research begun by family members much earlier but assisted now by the availability of a wealth of information through the internet. We have established a clear line in our family ancestry to the Revolutionary War era without reservation. There are threads that extend to England that are not at all out of the question when examined for accuracy. Beyond that, thinner threads extend all the way to the time when William the Conqueror won the battle of Hastings in the year 1066. It is a study in history and how our family lived and mostly prospered through the ages.
Genealogical researchers are often stymied by a break in the records created by adoption. This is a virtual roadblock we have discovered in my wife’s family tree.
Tracing a blood line requires unbroken evidence of ancestry, as documented through birth records, death records, obituaries and family lore, as far back as one can determine. An adoption often interrupts that search since a next of kin is lost to poor, inadequate or no records. The search is essentially halted there.
As Christians, followers of Jesus, we also have a record of ancestry that includes adoption. In this case it is a blessing rather than a hindrance when we consider the ramifications of our sinful situation. In the letter to the Ephesians Paul writes:
“He (God) predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself…..” (Eph. 1:5).
And in Romans 8:15 Paul writes:
“….but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
Being an “heir” entitles one to rights and privileges, including ownership, which might otherwise pass to others. Being an “heir with Christ” gives us ownership of a permanent relationship with God, the Father.
In Luke, chapter 3, beginning with verse 23, we find the lineage of Jesus which takes us all the way to Adam. As we contemplate being adopted by God, through Jesus, we can claim this same heritage along with “all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto.”
Knowing my earthly family tree is fun and interesting, but knowing that through adoption I have an eternal lineage transcends any earthly dimension.