Genesis Day 13: Tell us again, Pop!
We would sit around my grandfather’s red leather chair, on the floor, as he smoked Tiperillo or Huntington cigars. His name was “Pop”. We would beg him to tell us family stories. We would ask him over and over how different relatives were connected into the family tree. He had great names for them. In fact, my great-grandfather was named “Ducky Bill”.
Pop could tell family stories, we would revel in them.
Family, we long for it, even though all of them have issues. The question often asked today is whether our family is intact… Is any family? Don’t misunderstand. I am not here to decry our family structure. Quite the opposite.
I am here to celebrate it!
The Bible celebrates family—with all its pluses and minuses—with all its beauty marks and warts. We humans bond ourselves in family. Sometimes through blood relations, and other times through intentional covenant.
As we read the fifth chapter of Genesis, our minds try to pronounce the names, track the connections… and we get confused about who-is-who-in-this-zoo.
There’s a lot to sift through. Remember, chapter four followed the messy line of Cain and his great-great-great grandson Lamech. But here in chapter five, we’re following Cain’s brother, Seth. To make things more confusing, Seth also had a descendant named Lamech. Same name, different dude. This Lamech, we read, lived to be 777, and was Noah’s father. (777 years! And Adam lived to be 900. And we think we’ve got some good longevity in our lineage when grandma and grandpa both made it past 90!)
Speaking of family stories, we get a bit in this chapter. There is this fella, his name was Enoch (Genesis 5:24). He walked with God…and then “he was not (or not found)”. Enoch did not die, but God took him. Does this mean he was without sin? No, it simply means that his fellowship with God was something special.
I want to think a little more about his special fellowship with God. Think about your relatives. Are there any that are special? Any that are famous, or notorious, or better yet—are there any that hold up the standard for what your family represents? Are there any who, imperfections and all… overall, you’d say they left a Godly legacy? Sometimes we get lost in our family drama, but the legacies… aren’t theirs the stories we love the most?
The Collum family has a few. They are our patriarchs and matriarchs. The hard workers, who, after immigrating, clawed their way up the American dream to give us better lives. They embody hard work, and are people of faith. They lived in the cleanest houses in the village, houses with dirt floors. None of that is embellishment on my part—I learned it at the foot of my grandfather’s cigar-smoke enveloped chair.
I learned what it meant to be part of the family.
How about our big family, the family that has God the Father (not grandfather, or great-grandfather, but father) at the top? Sit for a moment at the foot of His chair. Listen to His stories—our story—about these people of old who lived for centuries… including a very special one… Enoch… who walked with God… perhaps we, too, can bear this resemblance.