Wedding chimes. The clock strikes six. It’s the sound of new beginnings.
Melodies from a soulful soloist begin; her tone is just the right romantic ambiance to usher in the wedding processional. As the second-to-last person in the processional reaches the altar, white multilayered curtains flutter shut. The music falls silent, while every attendee turns an expectant gaze in hushed anticipation toward the drapes as they gradually open.
And there stands the bride in all her bedazzled glory. Her long walk down the aisle represents many years of waiting and what felt like a millennia of borrowed hopes.
Joyfilled tears etch across the bride’s and bridegroom’s faces as they vow, “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part.”
Promises. We’ve all experienced what it’s like to make them. Like vows on a wedding day, promises (when made and kept), have the ability to ground us—giving us a firm assurance to hold on to. And guide us—leading us toward even greater faith in the one from whom the promise was made.
This two-fold hope from God is recorded by the Chronicler in our reading today. The genealogies are like a processional, preparing and pointing to the faithfulness of God to keep His covenant promise—for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.
This hope couldn’t be more timely for the people of God. Years before the exile, years before the return, God made a promise to Israel’s King David that a king from his lineage would endure forever (2Samuel 7:12–16). The genealogy in today’s reading traces King David’s ancestry and descendants as a means of the Chronicler guiding readers in remembrance.
Their years in exile left them disheartened, questioning their identity and future as God’s people. Would God remain faithful to His promise of a lasting king and kingdom?
God remains the promise maker and promise keeper. He is still growing an enduring kingdom, there is a throne to be established forever, just as He vowed. In the face of doubt and uncertainty, the Chronicler’s call to the remembrance of God’s promise and character had the unequivocal power to infuse hope. As it does today.
What if, this Lenten season we allow remembrance to guide our steps as we journey to the cross, knowing that not even in death do God’s promises part.