One of my morning rituals is to pop on to Facebook check out updates, but maybe most importantly to send a greeting to those who are having birthdays. I try to add a little style by using the title of this post as my greeting, It may seem silly to some, this electronic birthday fuss, but I know when my birthday comes around I get a huge kick out of seeing who and how many greetings I get.
It is also interesting to see who has birthdays on the same day, and often to see how other people I am connected with also have connections with each other. Some I know about but others I find surprising and often very interesting!
The Narrative Lectionary daily reading for today is from Luke 3, the genealogy of Jesus. To many it may seem just like a list of random and some very odd names and we can be tempted to brush off lists like this, but names are important, they can say quite a bit about you and they connect you to a much bigger story than your own.
I like my name, I think I aways have, in part it is because there are many stories that are attached to it.
The first being that for my first hours on this earth, (49 years ago this week, YIKES!) I was simply known as “baby” Glesne. Oh the Glesne, unique enough on its own, was a given, and I think my middle name was set, more or less, but the first name, well… there we have a story.
My Dad it seems being steeped in family history, and in the midst of his seminary education, wanted to name me after his Grandfather, I was to be Truls. Yes, Truls. Oh it is a fine name, and in hind sight I would be proud to be a Truls, but on the other hand… Junior High would likely would have been more awful than it was. It also beats the other family name. It seems my ancestors were not all that imaginative when it came to naming their first born. There are many Trul’s but they alternated with Gul, yup… Gul, now there is a name that belongs in buried deep in history!
Well, my mother, God bless her, would not let Truls prevail, I don’t remember if she had any other preferences, so for a time I remained “baby” Glesne.
Eventually I was named David. Funny thing is I know of two other David Glesnes. One is a scientist and about my age, and the other is my Dad’s cousin, a dozen years older than I or so, who happens to be a Lutheran pastor, go figure.
The list of names in Luke serve to bring us into Jesus’ family history, to connect him to tell us something about who he is and where he comes from, and of course the last connection on his list is one we all have in common, son or daughter of God. Jesus was not just some spiritual being, he had family, he has history and his story is also part of our story in and through these connections.