Today’s Scripture Reading (October 26, 2016): 1 Kings 22
Family is strange. Sometimes we fight, but then there are those special moments when we support each other. North and South Korea have been separated by politics for more than five decades now, but something inside of me wonders if Koreans ever wake up in the mornings and look across the border of their country and recognize that it is their cousins who are standing on the other side.
Because of my name, I have always considered myself to be Irish (Mullen=Ireland). I am sympathetic to the desires and needs and politics of the Emerald Isle. But the truth is that I am Northern European.
My heritage is from Ireland, but I am also English (I am the proud 37th cousin twice removed – or something like that – of Prince William through the lineage of Princess Diana), and there is more than a smattering of Dutch and German blood that flows through my veins. My end of the family has lived in North America (The United States and Canada) since the middle of the 1600’s, yet there is still something inside of me that responds to news from Northern Europe – some tie that still binds me to the land that my distant ancestors walked.
David’s Kingdom was divided. Through much of their history, Israel and Judah warred against each other – or ignored each other. But deep down they recognized that it was the blood of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that flowed through the veins of those on both sides of the artificial divide that separated them. So Ahab sends a message to this cousin Jehoshaphat who ruled on the other side of the divide. Ramoth Gilead was given to us, and yet it is currently in the hands of a foreign king. Will you help me get it back?
The response – “Of course, we are family. What is mine is also yours, as long as God walks with us, we can walk together.” It wasn’t always like that for the family of Jacob, but it was a special moment when the Kings simply recognized that an artificial border could not hide the fact that they were one people – and under God would always be one people – even if they served different earthly kings.
As Christians, we believe that we have been adopted by faith into the family of Abraham. We are one together. Even though we are separated, in Christ we are unified into one people. And our goals are the same – to proclaim the love of God to a world that has forgotten that love. As we walk with God, we are one, no matter what denominational brand we might carry on the earth.
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Obadiah 1