Where are you from?
Where are you from? It’s a question that gets asked, almost as a throw-away. People seem to want to know where other people are from. When one lives in a rural area, the question becomes even more important. It highlights the line between those who have deep roots and those who have more recently found their home in a given area.
It’s a question that becomes more and more complicated as our society has become so mobile. If you ask my children where they are from, you will get two different answers. If you ask my wife and me, we will say Michigan but, since we married, we’ve lived in five different states and haven’t set foot in Michigan in several years.
As I think about those people who told Jesus they would follow him, I imagine they were people who had deep roots in their community. I imagine them farming the land that had been in their family for generations. I imagine them living in a household with multiple generations. And I imagine they had no idea of the disruptive nature of the in-breaking of the Reign of God that Jesus was bringing near.
The Reign of God disrupts the way we make our identity. No longer is our identity about where we are from or to whose earthly family we belong. Our identity is in Jesus Christ. It is not about who we are but whose we are.
Matthew March is the pastor of St John’s Lutheran Church in Chehalis, Washington.
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