I received an ancestry report from 23andme. 23andme is one of those agencies that connect long-lost relatives and ancestors by researching public records or DNA testing. The DNA report I received today had 60 pages of third and fourth cousins listed, and this was just the latest report. I was surprised at my initial response. I felt a bit uncomfortable. Who are these people? I’m not sure I want some of them in my life until I know they are safe and trustworthy. The old police detective in me wanted to dig a bit deeper before I opened the relational door. Then I had another thought that challenged my thinking.
We are all related. We don’t need an ancestry tracing company to help us discover our most distant and shared relatives. Our original ancestors – Adam and Eve – walked in the Garden of Eden. No matter our skin color, ethnicity, or political persuasion, I am yours and you are mine, so to speak. There is no human on Earth that we do not share ancestry.
Perhaps that is one reason why Jesus told us to love our neighbor as ourselves. No matter who we meet, we are actually choosing to love a family member, albeit a distant one.
So much that is taking place in the world is meant to separate us. God wants to connect us. The Gospel cannot be shared without connection. I can easily justify a whole list of reasons why I need to be separate from people and in my separation I remove myself from being used as a witness of God’s love. Maybe the precursor to the next move of God will be discovering how to connect with our global family instead of allowing lesser issues to separate us.