He did not know where he came from. A little boy in an English care home, transported to Australia. Grew up thinking he was Irish. In old age he discovers that his mother was a German Jew who escaped the Holocaust. She had even followed him out to Australia trying to find him and never did. Now he has found her story and also found surviving relatives. Now he has found his real family. Now he knows where he comes from.
We all belong. We belong somewhere and we belong to somebody. We didn’t just appear. Mother and father came before us, and families came before them. We belong to a long line and a long story. Our physical features carry the imprint of our forebears. Our mannerisms and our mental makeup also come from them. We are inheritors of so much rich human wealth. When we know these people, our forebears and our relations, we have a strong sense of ourselves and of who we are. We will make our own way and our own story and our own contribution to the family line, but we do so as connected human beings, and not as isolated individuals.
In his parable today Jesus speaks of a master of the house hearing knocking at his door. Go away, he says, I do not know where you come from. If we have made no connection with God and his goodness in this world, we cannot expect to be given welcome into the next world. If we are strangers to goodness and kindness, then the game is up.
It is wonderful to know where you come from. It is truly human riches to have such knowledge. Many lives are impoverished by the lack of this knowledge, about family and heritage. But as long as we know about God and his goodness then the good Lord will know us, and we will not be strangers when we knock on his door.
26 October 2022