How many times have you walked away from a conversation or a meeting or an interview and thought “Oh, I meant to ask…..!”
Over the next 5 weeks we are going to create some space to explore questions that we’ve perhaps been meaning to ask, were a bit scared of asking, or hadn’t really thought about it until someone else voiced the question.
Our first question is “Where are you from?”
Our Bible readings for this week begin to explore this question a bit. We have the second creation story that gives us insight as to where we are from or where we began. This passage gives us landmarks and the names of rivers to place the Garden of Eden. It reminds us that we are created in the image of God and that God gifted the whole of creation to us to care for, to till and keep it.
The gospel reading from John tells of the first disciples of Jesus. It gives us some insight into the feeling that the people of day had around others. We know about the way the sick, the poor, the widows, and the children were treated, we also see here that even those who came from a particular town were considered ‘other’ – “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
I wonder how we would respond to a comment such as this one Nathanael gave to Jesus? “Can anything good come out of Murrumbeena?” Now we might automatically say I don’t live in Murrumbeena, I live in Carnegie, or I live in Hughesdale, or wherever else it may be. As we are told in the passage it seems that Jesus doesn’t even hear the comment but moves directly onto calling him to become a disciple.
Do we behave a little more like Nathanael or are we like Jesus? Jesus is indeed the person to aim to be like, but if we are brutally honest, we tend to be a bit more judging.
We have all, at one time or another, made assumptions, judged, spoken differently to or treated differently someone who is not like us. Sometimes we can see the differences very easily, sometimes the differences are more hidden. Are they really important?
Our creation story reminds us that God created us. And that we are created in the image of God, and God doesn’t make mistakes. The example that Jesus gives us regarding our interactions with people is that there should be no differences. Paul tells us in Romans that we are all part of the body of Christ, that we are children of God and if children then heirs and joint heirs with Christ. Paul goes on to tell us in Galatians that there is no distinction between Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female, we are all one in Christ. So if we are all one in Christ, we are all siblings together.