Whew, all those words and harmonies. Love the tradition and passion of Irish songs, do you?
My family weaves together from German and Irish roots, made of Kuenzles, Guenzlers, Mitchells, and Shannons. Now married into the Hanley clan (originally with an O’ at the beginning), my connection to Ireland grows deeper still. Fourteen years have lapsed since I’ve experienced the alluring charm of Ireland, but one day I hope to return. Yes, I suppose she calls to me.
Regardless of your origins–whether you know your ancestry or not–understanding your family history benefits you. We don’t import our identity from a genealogy, and yet, learning our family’s past (both good and bad) prepares us for a more focused future. Sometimes we readily tolerate that which we don’t recognize and identify. In one Bible study I did a year or two back, we were asked to list out chains of bondage in our family lines: what do people excuse by saying “It’s always been”?
We see where our fears and driving passions have linked us to the past. What has God blessed and what does He need to break? An old Irish saying goes like this: “You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was.” We come from our parents, but we aren’t them. God has a unique purpose for our lives.
“The thing is, if you don’t know who you are, then you’re vulnerable to other people telling you who you are. But the concrete, solid, gospel truth is that you are who God says you are, and no one else has a vote in the matter.” Rick Warren
“He has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts.” (2 Corinthians 1:22a NLT)
No matter what old place you come from, God declares you a new creation in Him. He has graced you with the very identity of His Son, washed anew in the blood of Christ.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:28
“Christians have been beaten, whipped, starved, humiliated, mutilated, tortured, hung, burned at the stake, crucified, and fed to lions; yet two thousand years after a man called Jesus of Nazareth walked the streets of Jerusalem, 1,734 million people alive on this earth today call themselves by the ever-dividing, ever-uniting word: Christian. God is still scattering the seeds a few righteous renegades planted in a city called Antioch. Had they only known what they were starting.”
― Beth Moore, To Live Is Christ
So, whether or not you carry a family crest of which you are proud, you have a banner over you that speaks a greater Name. Forever linked with other Believers to the Family of Christ, you are wholly accepted and included as His child.
“Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people.” Ps. 100:3
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Is. 43:1
An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.