It seems there is a hunger these days to find out about our ancestors. For fees starting at around a hundred dollars, you can have companies analyze your DNA and tell you how much of various ethnicities you may have. I understand the interest, I have a similar interest coming from my ongoing fascination with and study of history. I am generally indifferent to what ethnicities I might have as it is too late to pick different parents.
But, are all of our ancestors the DNA-linked kind? I’d say no. My kids’ grandmother on my side is my bonus Mom, Norma. They have no direct biological connection to her. My Mom died in 1990 and I wasn’t even married then but Norma is their grandma and their kids’ gramma-gramma. She is their ancestor.
The Epistle text has Paul talking about ancestors and how we can learn from them and then reels off a long list of how awful they were. It is very tempting to say, “Those aren’t my ancestors.” But they are. They are our ancestors in the faith and whether we like it or not they are in our spiritual family tree.
Paul wants us to learn from their example, even if it is a bad example. And I want us to also. Give one or both of the sermons a listen and let me know what you think.