Pause for Thought – a five minute read – Week 37

Matthew 1 v 1 – 17.

Family Tree.

I am still pondering over the photographs in my wedding album and as I thumb through the pages the realisation of the passage of time is beginning to have an impact.

Some of the wedding guests I have not seen in many years and one or two of the wedding party seem to have disappeared into the mists of time.

More alarmingly, one group picture made me realise that I am the only person who is still breathing. Still after over fifty years, I suppose that will be inevitable.

There is one photograph that seemed to answer a question that had avoided my comprehension for the past four or five years.

I am blessed to have seven grandchildren, five grandsons and two granddaughters. All of them look down on me; due to the fact that they are all taller than I am, in fact most of them exceed six feet, (1.8m) in height. Two of them in particular have such height that they ought to have a red flashing light on their heads to warn low flying aircraft.

Strangely, Jean, me, and our daughters, are not tall people and we all struggle with high kitchen cupboards. So where has this lofty gene come from that has manifested itself in this generation?

It does have some advantages, however, when I need something retrieving from a high shelf I know who to call and it also means that they have to bow when entering my house which is very respectful.

For them it can be a problem. A standard size bed and bath is too short, which results in feet projecting out of the duvet or the bath water.

One picture from the album gave me a clue towards the answer to this conundrum. It is a picture of three generations of the Turton family tree, Grandparents from my mother’s side, my parents, me, and my grandparents from my father’s side.

When I was a child we always referred to my mother’s side as being, little Grandma and little Grandad as they were both vertically challenged, as was my mother. Little Grandma died some years before our wedding so only Little Grandad is on the picture.

On the other side was dad’s parents, ‘big’ grandma and ‘big’ Grandad, and there may be the answer to my problem.

Grandad Turton was enormous compared to everyone else. He stood head and shoulders above me, and waist, head and shoulders above my mum. It was not just his height; his shoulders and chest were all in proportion.  He was a big man.

He would have been in his eighties at the time of our wedding but he still had a full head of thick wavy hair and his posture was that of a sentry at Buckingham Palace.

Despite his size, he was a very quiet man, with few words to say, so conversations were short. His dress was always working class Victorian, braces, Corduroy trousers, big boots, waist coat, and for our wedding, a pocket watch and chain.

Was his the reoccurring gene in our modern generation?   

Matthew 1 v 1 – 17

Matthews Gospel starts with a detailed genealogy of the ancestors of Jesus.

It is the first gospel of the New Testament and a casual reading may cause the reader to wonder why it begins with a seemingly dull family tree. There may be a temptation to skip over it and get to where the action begins.

However, the genealogy is indispensable as it follows the birth of Christ back through the centuries to show that he is the legal descendent of King David’s royal line.

This is essential in proving the fulfilment of the prophecies and the coming to pass of God’s promise of the Messiah. The fulfilment that will take Jesus through his ministry and ultimately to death on the cross.   

The genealogy is the interface between the Old and New Testaments.

Matthew begins his witness in the only way he could, by proving without doubt that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God.

Derek T.