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We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, you can log in to Disqus with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account; just click "Login," or the appropriate logo below. Or, you can sign up for a Disqus account; just use the entry form below, or click the "D" logo to start the process. You can find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page. You can also listen to the Forward Day by Day podcast anywhere you find podcasts!
FRIDAY, March 17 PATRICK OF IRELAND, Bishop and Missionary, 461
John 8:37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word.
My family did not come over on the Mayflower, though some of them came soon afterward. My middle name is Kent, a family name that dates back to the 1600s in America. Most of my other genealogical lines in America are far shorter by comparison. Does it matter that remote family members fought in the American Revolution?
Does it matter that these religious leaders could trace their lineage to Abraham? Jesus seems to accept the premise of their statements that it does matter. Then Jesus turns the conversation upside down, suggesting they are children of Abraham, but that does not exempt them from the captivity of sin.
Christians have always claimed that sin enslaves, but Jesus is not accusing them of that type of slavery. Instead, he is obliquely calling them children of Abraham’s other son, Ishmael.
Jesus accepts the premise of their statements only to make his point. It is faith and not lineage that connects a person to God. And by extension, the same is true for us.
MOVING FORWARD: What are the benefits of genealogy? In light of today’s scripture, what are its limits?
PRAY for the Diocese of Rochester (The Episcopal Church)
Ps 95, 88 * 91, 92 | Jeremiah 11:1-8, 14-20 | Romans 6:1-11 | John 8:33-47