I have always been intrigued by “genealogy” – the Family Tree bit I get. It is the “bloodline stuff” which intrigues me – the “percentages” bit:
I am quarter Irish … I have one eighth Alien in me you know … my mother’s mother’s cousin’s step-brother’s illegitimate sister was Royalty you know (if only she was legitimate!) …
How does “that” make any difference to how we each live right now today? Other than bestow some form of weird ”entitlement” we wish we had, or some excuse for our behaviour we think we need? Does that explain something of why we are what we are? Forces beyond our control creeping into our DNA? All that “history and culture” (or absence of) tripping us up as we do our best each day? What “I could have been” … if only …
Here in good old England – we still have blue blood. Royalty’s blood must be oxygen free to be the “blue real deal”. People hanker for blue blood in their past. And if they find a whisper of lineage way back yonder no matter how tenuous – then it endows something greater (but also missing) from their “today”! The “what could have been” … the “what if” … the “look at me” …
Is it just me that finds all this a little sad? This urge to connect with someone else’s glory days … someone else’s power … prestige … fame … “entitlement” … ? It is like a dusty wardrobe with shrivelled and moth eaten clothing stinking to high heaven – that we “reverently” touch, caress, enrobe ourselves with. And (if there is the history we want) believe it to be the best wardrobe money cannot buy!
”An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Matthew 1:1
It was this verse. This morning. Lineage. Evidence. Proof. Mindset. Expectation. Entitlement. Royal blood. Our blue blood. Our glory days. Our entitlement. Ours.
And the underlying statement: Prove it. Prove to ME why I should believe YOU. And then I might.
I get the “prophecies” being fulfilled along the way. The ticking of lists. All the proof the Chosen People needed. They had waited a long time. They had a history of prophets verbally “beating them up” and telling they were about to be “smitten by God” if they did not repent and live a good life (again – and again – and again). Makes a chap cautious about what he believes, who he believes, why he believes. Can’t be too careful when it comes to Messiahs you know.
But what I struggle with is the desire still today to inhabit a museum, a mausoleum, a place of dead folk and dusty archives. A place away from the light. A place away from the energy of living. A place without the unconditional Love that our God is.
I kind of “get it” back then. The Chosen People have stiff necks. But is that DNA or choice?
Because “stiff necks” become a habit – becomes who I am. And when “stiff necks” … when “lineage” … when preferring a dusty book(s) of family trees is preferable to living in the Light … ? That I don’t get it. And why do these “Chosen People” resist? Who is this “Chosen People” anyway to know “better” than me?
And so we keep banging on about the “Jewish race” as though it was some kind of “essence”: Royal Blood more blue than blue itself! A bloodline so out of this world as to make each pumping heart within each proud exterior “rulers of this world” (and the next)!
The “splinters and logs verses” come to mind (again!) … are not “The Chosen People” … all of us?
There has been that much “inter breeding” over the centuries – just like the air we breathe – that I suspect our DNA is becoming ever more similar (if only we looked for the similarities). Because I might be one percent “jewish” (or even one hundred percent jewish). What does that mean today?
Self-imposed rules and culture. Self-imposed “I am”. Self-imposed “this is why I am a tortured soul”. This is why I do not fit in. This is why we must stick together. This is why I am different to you.
And other self-imposed rules and cultures demand equality for their own “stiff necks” identities. And so we continue to wage war and hatred.
I am The Chosen People. We are all the Chosen People. If we allow. The only request for fulfilment is that we “Love”. That’s all. So can we talk about something else … like Love?
About how great Love is. How it draws us all together. How it empowers each one of us. How it makes us all the same. How we can each be who we really are (today). How we can each be abundantly divergent and yet universally accepted. How we can get off our bottoms. Stop finding reason to “wait”, reasons to look and hope “when is He coming back”, forever pontificating about should we believe or not … maybe get out of the mausoleum of religion – and “party”!
(and for the sake of completeness: The Chosen People is simply one label. American African is another. White South African is another. English speakers is another. Sinners is another. The Lost World is the best!)
The “Chosen People” did not start it. Because it seems we all want to belong “to something” so we can look down on “something/someone else”. Or else why the stigma of “mental illness” … “suicide” … adultery … same sex sex(!) … illegitimate … abused … divorced … wears the wrong swimwear … says the wrong words … disagrees with me .. is not “us” … All of that!
We just love our filing cabinets of “evidence”. We love our labels of difference. We perpetuate our classifications and different “roots”. We all like to hold our dusty dead archives – they are our own precious (self-imposed) self-identity.
So don’t blame Church. Church never invented it.
But maybe church can put “it” down. Maybe we can each “put it down”. Just like Jesus. Who is God. Who is the Holy Spirit. Who is Love. Unconditional Love. Who cares not what “percentage” you are. Who does not see “the differences”. Who came to help us see what we so love to miss day after decade after generation after dusty history …
That all we have to do is to Allow.
Because the church won’t do that until we do that. The church CAN’T do that until we do that. The church is NOT capable of doing that until we each do that. Because we are “Church”. We are Church because Church is only a place in the same way home “is only a place”.
It is anywhere we choose to make our home – it is however we choose to make our home OUR home.
Church is anywhere and anyhow that we choose. That is “church”. And THAT is why “Church” (really) is “us”. And that makes it simple. I do it, you do it, we do it – and soon “church” is what we want. Church is however we want. A place of Love: unconditional dynamic active living and loving Love.
So I think we should stop blaming. I think we should “put down” these dusty dead differences. I think we should each allow ourselves to put down blame.
Or do we prefer our God to be the “dusty dead God” of lineage, blood lines and entitlement?