Where Are You From?
Do you know your roots? I got a song in my head today, perhaps you've heard of it, "Tillsonburg" by Stomping' Tom Connors? It got me to thinking that sometimes people may know that little town place you say you grew up in, from a song, or an organization, something in that area. So much of the time, you need to explain bigger cities that are around the area, for me being Woodstock and London. Sometimes, people still can't pinpoint your origins. However, there's a lot more to your upbringing than just a place, it's about the home, the family, the values you grew up with. That should be the response when someone asks where you grew up, the family you had, and how they've influenced the person you are today. This incorporates good and bad times, as well as values of faith, what things you believe to be most important as a Christian, how God has an impact on your life. From this, we grow to be who we are, as Jesus expresses in this passage.
Today's Gospel states:'After this Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews' feast of Tabernacles was at hand. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, "Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? Yet we know where this man comes from; and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from." So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, "You know me, and you know where I come from? But I have not come of my own accord; he who sent me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me." So they sought to arrest him; but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come'(John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30).
In today's Gospel, Jesus tells the people that the know him, but not where he comes from, not knowing of God the Father truly. He doesn't refer to a place, but a way of life, the Kingdom of God, present in the community, in the entirety of those who believe and trust in God's will. It's not about rules, but the influence of moral values people have on you, and you give to the world. Next time someone asks you about where you're from, what will you say? Take some time to ask God to help you make His Kingdom your true home, for yourself and the rest of the world.
Today's prayer comes from 'thy Kingdom come' a prayer for God's Kingdom on earth:
Almighty God, your ascended Son has sent us into the world to preach the good news of your kingdom: inspire us with your Spirit and fill our hearts with the fire of your love, that all who hear your Word may be drawn to you, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth: grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may ever be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know ourselves surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.