This Week at John McMillan Presbyterian Church (Advent 3)

My brother and I are reading a series of book by Bernard Cornwall called the “Last Kingdom Series”. It is also a Netflix series. The series follows the adventures of Uhtred of Babenberg during the time of King Alfred the Great of the Anglo-Saxons (866-899 AD). Uhtred was the son of the Lord of Northumbria but whose rights to the castle there were usurped by his uncle after Uhtred’s father was killed by the invading Danes.  Uhtred was taken away and raised by the Danes. On his return, Uhtred spends his days serving King Alfred, though not always happily, while trying to get his castle back. These historical novels are better than any fantasy book you might be inclined to read (though beware, the church, while a major part of the stories, is not particularly well thought of by the fictional Uhtred ). Recently, my brother was doing some genealogical research of Babenberg in Northumbria, England, where the ancient Tindall family (or Tyndale, Tindol, Tyndal, Tindall, Tindal, Tindale, Tindle, Tindell, Tindill, Tindel or any number of other spellings) haled from. Much to our surprise, he found this on Wikipedia:

The first member of the family known by this name was Uchtred, Lord of Tyndale, who married Bethoc Canmore, daughter of Donald IIIKing of Scots from 1093–1099.[3] His name, the period of his life and his lands and position suggest a kinship with the Anglo Saxon Earls of Northumbria, one of whom was Uchtred the Bold, Earl from 1006 to 1016. These Earls, in turn, were descended from the Saxon Kings of Northumbria. 

What? I am royalty? Related to a real Uhtred? Who can know? But anyway, it is fun to try and understand who we are by looking back into our ancestry. If you were trying to describe your heritage, how would you do it? How far back in time would you go?

When the Gospel writers were trying to describe Jesus’ heritage, they each took a different approach. Mark said Jesus receive God’s blessing at his baptism. Luke said that Mary received the blessing. Matthew gives that blessing to Joseph. But then there is John. He goes back beyond the baptism; beyond the birth stories, all the way back to the beginning. I mean the real beginning. The Genesis kind of beginning. “In the beginning …” So, what does John say about this and what exactly does it have to do with Advent? Come and hear about it this Sunday at 8:30 and 11 at John McMillan Presbyterian Church when Pastor Jeff preaches “Word of the Father” based on John 1: 1-18. Come and hear about it on the third Sunday of Advent.

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