In November the fourth graders at Bethel Springs studied their heritage so my son Caden and I had a few fun discussions about our family. Our family history isn’t the easiest to track, and the information is limited because we come from a pretty big melting pot. In the book of Matthew Jesus’ ancestors are listed from his father’s side of the family. "This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of King David and of Abraham." (Matthew 1:1) Jesus' family heritage projects in elementary school must have been easy to complete because each name is listed. In this family tree you find the good, the bad, and the ugly in Joseph’s family. Nothing is hidden. No names are scribbled out to hide the truth. In the list is Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba all whom someone in the family at some point wanted to scratch from the list. Scandal, prostitution, adultery, and murder are wrapped up in the journeys of these women. This Christmas season you may come face to face again with your past failures or the failures of those you love. As you surround yourself with family and friends, or reminisce about previous holidays, let’s never forget Jesus opens his arms to all of us, and no one is placed on a separate list because of their past. We are part of the story. Live your story this Christmas.