October 8th – Knowing Who You Are!



We are always fascinated by considering our roots.Family trees are vital. People spend large sums of money and long hours and years of research in trying to establish their links with people who were their parents, or grand parents, or great grandparents, and so on. People get hung up on such things as “What have I inherited from my forebears?” “Is there a specific gene in my family tree which is responsible for my ill health?” Was there a terrible secret in the family cupboard, and will it affect me and my children?” – and so on.
Now, imagine that you are a Jew living in the period of the Persian Empire, over 400 years B.C. Your ancestors were taken captive by the Babylonians many years before. You were born and brought up in Babylon. Then Persia defeated Babylon, and you are told that your race – ‘you foreign nationals’ – need no longer remain in Babylon. You are free to go home to your own land. But where is home? You’ve always lived here near the Persian Gulf. You know the language there. The other language the old folks use in prayer meetings does not come naturally to you. Even if you decide to stay where you are you would be eaten up with curiosity about your people’s history, your roots, and if there are any of your actual family in that distant land which you have never seen, which people sometimes refer to as a land flowing with milk and honey; a land given to your forebears by God; a land lapped by the Mediterranean Sea to the west, and the Moabite hills to the east, a land crowned with that City whose name you’ve always known, but never seen – JERUSALEM.
If you can imagine how you’d feel if that were your situation, then you will know why the Books of Chronicles in the Old Testament was written. The chronicler, writing in Persia, and using all the ancient scrolls of his people, tells the story, listing your family tree from Adam to now – telling of your nation’s golden years – and your nation’s worship and greatness – above all your people’s God. You belong to God’s chosen people!!! Well, wouldn’t you want to know more?
This is what St. Peter says about you and your roots, for if you are in Christ you have inherited the promises and privileges of your spiritual ancestors who first heard these words from the God of Moses and Hosea:
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. I Peter 2: 9-10
A Prayer:
Lord – free me to worship you with an even greater fervour than that of the ‘promenaders’ at the last night of the proms.
Now read quickly through I Chronicles, Chapter 1 and Chapter 11:1-3

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