Pastor's Corner

Weekly thoughts to inspire and motivate

Family Tree

It's amazing how much you can discover by looking at family trees. A few weeks ago I learned that ancestry.com gives a two-week free trial to new users. I have always wondered if I could trace my family name back to Scotland, so I jumped at the opportunity. I spent a couple of hours tracing name after name after name and I was not disappointed. I learned that my sixth great-grandfather was Colonel David Sutherland, an officer in the United States Army during the Revolutionary War. I found out that his father, William Sutherland, Jr., owned two slaves, but that his great-grandson, Walter Sutherland, was a private in the New York Infantry, fighting for the Union Army during the Civil War. I also became aware that I'm not the first Joel Sutherland. Colonel David Sutherland had a son named Joel David Sutherland. And yes, I also learned that William Sutherland brought our family to North America from northern Scotland in the late 1600s. Up until that point we had lived in Sutherland County, the beautiful area surrounding Dunrobin Castle (pictured above), the seat of Clan Sutherland for nearly 1,000 years.

We can learn a lot looking at Jesus' family tree as well. We find out that his 39th great-grandfather was Nathan, the son of David and Bathsheba, possibly named after the prophet who had given them so much advice. We also learn that He is a descendent of at least two non-Israelite women, one being Ruth, the wife of Boaz and great-grandmother to David, and the second being Rahab, the Canaanite prostitute who saved the Israelite spies, eventually married Salmon, and became the mother of Boaz. But the part about Jesus' family tree that I like the best, and one of the two places we know our family trees tie in with his, is found at the very beginning: "Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God" (Luke 3:38). How beautiful to think that the one person who matters most in our lives is found at the very root of each family tree.

Thankful to be a Son of God,

Pastor Sutherland

Joel SutherlandComment