When the Rev. John Maxwell Kerr was in town recently from Virginia, visiting my family and my church, we spent one morning with him at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. We had an especially great time since he is both a priest and a scientist. He’s also British. So we simply had to take this photograph of him striking a pose in front of a chart of royal genealogy in the very impressive Fabergé exhibit.
It made me think about family trees and the ways we interpret them. Lots of people cling with all their might to odd zig-zags in the jungle of their ancestry, claiming a connection to royalty or some other type of celebrity. But, to me, the ordinary facts of the most direct branches in family trees, both the good and the bad, are far more interesting than examples of genealogical gymnastics. In either case, however, charting this out has nothing to do with who I am today in God’s eyes or where I’m headed, ultimately, in God’s presence. It’s interesting but not determinative.
Enough preaching — let’s write haiku about family trees! Don’t let my sermon keep you from stating whatever outrageous thing you want to say or claiming whatever highly dubious connection you want to make. Write one verse with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line. Here’s mine:
Willards — German but
French first, Huguenots forced to
flee to Otterberg.