What do the names Posey, Palmer, Carpenter, Hobbs, Wright, Dearmond, Cone, Bailey, Dean, Mastin, Bullock, Bussey (twice), Baker, Perkins, Runnels, Buatte, Mallet, Helber, Wilt, Stoehr, Kugla, Popwell, Callaway, Kemp, Kulp, Mimms, Smith, Dobbs, Yates, and Paine have in common? They are the family names of thirty one of my thirty two great great grandparents! I can claim no credit for knowing this, the credit all goes to my wife who researches this for me.
I raise this up not because I am special in anyway, I just want to use my family tree as an example. We all have great great grandparents. You can tell from my list – the origins of their families was likely quite different. They lived from 1762-1911 – a time period when many major events occurred. Most were Americans and some lived in the south and some in the north. That means it is possible in the American Civil War I had ancestors shooting at one another! I also know the various families originally came from England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and Germany – all of whom were at odds with each other at times. I also found out through a DNA test that I have some European Jewish blood in me from somewhere. Heavens knows the Jews were mistreated by all the ethnic groups above at times.
Yet, I would not be here if it were not for all of them (and one great great grandmother we have yet to find as well).
At a time in world history where we hear of so much conflict in the news, perhaps our differences, which can seem so significant to us today, in the end are not. Perhaps we have more in common than we imagine. And even if someone is our enemy today, who is not to say they will be our ally tomorrow? Maybe even more. Maybe even family.
Perhaps, most of all, we as Christians should be leading the way in building bridges between different groups instead of accentuating conflicts.
Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers. How much do we work to be just that? How much do we write, say, or even post that unites versus how much it divides?
Some food for thought before I go to a church meal welcoming a mission group.
Until next time,