Musings from the Manse…

Dear Friends,
Who do you think you are?
I have always been interested in ancestry and how characteristics and traits pass on down through the generations. I remember many years ago noticing with a start how my lovely new first born baby, with just a turn of her head, for a moment, looked just like my great aunt! I have photographs on the wall in my study of a great grandmother who is the spitting image of my 22 year old niece. Genetics is a strange business.
Just recently for a bit of fun my husband and I had our DNA analysed! It turns out neither of us are who we thought we were. Both of us have been born in Scotland to people of Scottish and Irish descent and so we expected our DNA to reflect that and largely it did but it seems that I have a small but significant amount of Nigerian DNA and my husband has a large amount of southern Iberian DNA. That might explain his ability to tan but not my fair skinned and freckly complexion which doesn’t go well together with an African heritage.
But it made me think about us as a race and about our prejudices. Across the world we judge others by their ethnic origin or by the colour of their skins. We exclude or include people depending on their nationality or allegiances when of course if we delved a little bit further we might find out that we are all a wonderful mix of ethnicities.
We are in fact God’s rainbow people!
And further than that I pondered, how is it that a scotswoman should have some DNA from West Africa in her make-up. Well the slave trade comes to mind and the suggestion in our Bibles that the sins of the fathers will pass on down through the generations. The ancients knew something about inheritance. None of us are exempt from the good or the bad that was done in the history of humanity. We are all somehow linked and in Christian thought, all children of the one Creator God. We are at the same time wonderful individuals with amazing potential for good and sinful and pernicious people who can perpetrate terrible things. None of us is squeaky clean it seems.
However, we have a wonderful chance to make a difference to the future if not to the past. We can learn from our past and try to make as sure as possible that the future will be a brighter one for all peoples, for all nations, for all ethnicities; a world where all are treated equally, where all are recognised as precious, a world where all of humanity is recognised as one family under God.
What a wonderful world that would be..There is much to do!
With love and prayers