I was looking through the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Messiah recently and something struck me about that long detailed lineage. I see some familiar names such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Boaz and Rahab, His mother Mary, King David, Solomon, and Joseph the husband of Mary. I know who these people were as there are stories in the Old and New Testaments of their lives to read, enjoy, and learn from. But what struck me are the many names that remain that I really know nothing, or perhaps a little more precise, I know little about them. Take a look and see for yourself.
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. 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 1:1-17, (New International Version or NIV).
See what I mean? Who was Jotham or Amon or Ram or Amminadab? For that matter who was Azor or Zadok or Matthan or Jacob his son and the father of Joseph who married Mary? I simply know nothing about these men, except that they had wives in order to procreate the next generation. Believe it or not I find this quite comforting…let me explain.
I am the product of the modern world. Unlike my Mother and Grandmother before me I had choices that I could make. Legally I have enjoyed in my lifetime the fruits of suffragette’s who fought for women’s rights. I am able to purchase property and not be some man’s property. I am educated and could conceivably have a good career although I chose to be a stay-at-home wife and Mom. I can vote and I do. I can do many modern things because I was born preciously at this time and this era and in America. Somehow, though, I believe that my birth is no accident but that I am meant to be here and for a purpose that I may never fully comprehend in this lifetime.
The fact is we all are born when God wants us to be born to whatever family and whatever country God chooses us to be born into. I have chosen to give my life to Jesus Christ and so my path has led me on a mostly straight road to whatever destination my Lord has in mind for me. I love that about my life. As a young person I felt such a calling to do something for the Kingdom of Christ, but not sure what I was to do. As I look back from the 60th year vantage point I can see that my path was to rear a family, adopt a son and rear him, and be a helpmate to my husband until he chose to leave. In many ways I have struggled to find my calling since the divorce but I am beginning to understand that my calling has not really changed. I am still someone’s Mother, someone’s Grandmother, someone’s friend and so on. I was an encourager before the divorce and I find myself in that role often since the divorce. The truth I have come to see is that my role in life for the Kingdom of Christ may be no different from the women who were space fillers and bore Jotham or Amon or Ram or Amminadab, Azor or Zadok or Matthan or Jacob his son and the father of Joseph who married Mary. These women are nameless in this genealogy yet as space fillers they were important. Without their hard work and birthing and nurturing and rearing a family Mary would have never been born. Without someone taking time to teach her the ways of the Lord she would not have been found virtuous for her duty as Jesus’s Mother.
Yes, the older I get the more convinced I am that my role in life is to be a space filler in the grand scheme of God’s plan. I am not called to be anything more than a follower of Jesus Christ. I am called to live a virtuous life, a life pleasing to God and to my Lord Jesus Christ. So what if I never climb a mountain or head an empire, my role as a space filler is an important one. What exactly is a space filler? Glad you asked.
I see a space filler as those humble and good ordinary people who lived their life as they were called to do. They ate, grew, worked, slept and lived out their days in whatever circumstances they were born into. God never singled them out for anything but an ordinary life. They were not Kings or Princesses just as I am not a multi-millionaire or movie star. They were people who lived a life and then died. In other words, they filled the space between those who God destined to do something great. I fully expect that when my earthly journey ends and I pass over to Heaven and see the great plan of God’s unfolding that I will see my child or grand-child or great-great-great-grandchild will be called upon to do something extraordinary and that person would not exist unless I existed. God works that way through the ages just as God chose Mary to birth Jesus, God also has called others.
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:4-5, (NIV).
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Psalm 139:13-17, (NIV).
But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus. Galatians 1:15-17, (NIV).
There are many more examples from scripture but I think you get the point. God has a plan and it is not an accident that you or I are here in 2016 living and breathing on the earth. We cannot all be superstars nor should we even try to be because most of us are simply space fillers living out our lives as God desires for we belong to Jesus Christ and therefore the Father. I don’t know about you but this takes a tremendous pressure off my shoulders. I no longer feel the need to prove myself to anyone. I no longer feel the need to excel above anyone. I can simply be a servant of my Lord and live in peace with God and all humanity. Now that is pretty spectacular!