Cò leis thu?
"... and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6.18
In our Gaelic class the other day we were discussing how students are educated. The lecturer pointed out that children of societies which are the product of popular revolutions, such as France and America, are nurtured as independent citizens, while those of us who spend our formative years in monarchies and dictatorships are reared as subjects. Subtle - but true? Certainly worth pondering: how do the circumstances of our up-bringing, especially the unspoken and underlying assumptions which underpin and guide them, affect our self-understanding and our attitude to life in general?
Postmodern western society often sows the lie that we enjoy complete independence to be whomever we want to be. That attitude has a name: monism. Nearly 400 years ago, John Donne exposed its fallaciousness in his book 'No Man is an Island' (published 1624). Donne demonstrated how we are woven into a fabric of interconnected relationships with each other, the natural environment and our creator - whether we like it or not. Our own Gaelic worldview similarly acknowledges our interdependence by asking, on introduction: "whose are you?" rather than "who are you?"
Through Scripture, God claims us for his own and that, surely, trumps all other identities? Being children of God both exalts the dignity of each one of us, as well as binding us together as brothers and sisters in the family of faith. Whom we consider ourselves to be has an impact on our self understanding and our attitude to others. It also expresses our place in the world and influences our aspirations for the future. The prophets of Israel challenged the people of their day to make up their minds who and what they would live for. Since the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the spirit of prophecy has been unleashed upon the whole church. So, what shall we answer those very questions today?