Editor's note: This story is the final story in a series that focuses on the days leading up to Christmas – a time which may bring difficult memories of past observances.
Although most people know the story of the birth of Christ, few are familiar with the Bible's presentation of his lineage.
Pastor Devon Davoux of Vermillion's Cornerstone Church said this is something he's been thinking about this holiday season.
"Now, people that haven't read the Bible probably aren't as familiar with it, and those that do read the Bible would skip over it," Davoux said.
Located in Matthew 1, it is not the most interesting read, he said – filled with "begats" and names most people would fail to recognize at first glance.
Davoux said that what makes it notable is several of the people mentioned came from less-than-moral backgrounds, which they eventually overcame.
"It's really a picture of his grace, that God transforms people, even those with checkered pasts," Davoux said. "There's hope, there's grace, there's opportunity for new life, for new beginnings."
Davoux has seen these transformations in his own life – notably in his father, whom he describes as an alcoholic prone to anger and violence.
"My grandpa was a minister, one of the greatest examples to me. But my dad was one of those rebellious kinds of guys who went his own prodigal way," he said. "I remember there was a point in my dad's life when there was a kind of spiritual rebirth in his life.
"He gave his life to Christ. There was a transformation that happened," Davoux said. "He went from drinking and being very angry all the time to (being) a very peaceful man."
Despite the influence of his grandfather – and despite earning a degree to become a pastor – Davoux resisted the call to work with the church himself.
"I felt called to be a pastor of some sort in late high school/early college years. I knew that God was kind of leading me that way, but there was another sense that I didn't want to do that," he said. "I was scared. I was terrified to do it. I hated speaking in front of people. I remember there were days when I would literally not sleep the night before I had to give a speech."
Instead, he became a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher in Kansas City, MO. But he felt something was missing.
"There's nothing wrong with being a teacher, but I just knew it was not going to be a long-term thing for me," he said.
Then in 2002 he attended a Steven Curtis Chapman concert, during which the story was told of a group of missionaries who were killed. On the stage was the son of one of the missionaries, and one of the actual killers.
"It broke in me, because I just saw the fruit of what they had done," Davoux said. "There was a whole village in Ecuador that was literally transformed because of the work that they did. That changed my life."
Shortly thereafter, Davoux came to the Cornerstone Church. He lives in Vermillion with his wife Jen and their four children.
Although he said he was nervous at first, Davoux came to embrace the "radical" change in his own life.
"I didn't feel like a pastor, but I knew that God had called me to be that," he said. "His grace has been so huge. He's blessed us beyond words and helped us every step of the way."