Bebe had papers!
Mom brought her home to me when I was in the third grade. She came complete with the pedigree papers proving she was a genuine beagle.
Thanks to Mom’s work on our family genealogy, I have papers too. They have my ancestors arriving at Plymouth Rock on the second boat, right after the Mayflower. The ah, er, S.S. What’s Its Name. Yeah, the one no one remembers.
Then last week an upgrade occurred. A young scholar’s research promoted me to the first boat. My newly updated papers will show that my great, times-a-lot-of greats, grandfather and grandmother came to America on the Mayflower.
On both Mom and Dad’s side, I have signers of the Declaration of Independence, colonels in the war for independence, and recipients of land grants from George Washington for meritorious service. I’m a pedigree American with papers.
But nowadays I don’t know who to tell this to. It’s becoming quite fashionable to portray the founders of our country as arrogant, imperialistic, capitalistic, conniving thieves and robbers. Now, especially with the Mayflower news, it is clear that some of those so-called scallywags are direct ancestors of mine.
So am I a prince or a pirate? A bit of both I suspect.
The Bible says, and I believe, that we all have documentation that goes back to Adam and Eve, our first mother and father. And, because Papa Adam deliberately sinned against God when he ate the forbidden fruit, all of us have a heritage problem. Thus, we are really nice people, except when we’re not.
Thankfully, we can all get new papers signed in the heavenlies with the indelible ink of the precious blood of Jesus. Thankfully, God “canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14).
Such everlasting forgiveness! Now we are free. We no longer have, give or receive judgment based on our race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, gender, age, marital status, ability, or veteran status.
The good news is that Jesus, “the second Adam,” showed up, born of a virgin. That’s great, since sin doesn’t get passed down to us through the woman. He lived a sinless life, died in our place, and now gives us the right to become children of God by believing on him (John 1:11-12).
Now we no longer need “endless genealogies” (1 Timothy 1:4) and papers to prove we are okay or special. God so loved the world that, now, if anyone believes in Jesus Christ as savior and lord they become a new creation, the old is gone and the new has come! (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
I’m glad to be an American with all the good, bad and ugly that goes with that. What an experiment, adventure and experience this country was, is, and will continue to be.
I am glad to be a human. Although I sometimes get embarrassed about how we fight and bicker with each other over who did what to whom and why we are right and they are wrong.
Most of all, I am glad to be a believer in Jesus and a member of his new forever family. Jesus changes us so we can begin to love our enemies, pray for those who misuse us, and forgive as God through Jesus Christ has forgiven us (Matthew 5:44; Ephesians 4:32).
Happy Fourth and happy forever!
John Parker serves with Connections Simple Church of Chowchilla. He is available to coach individuals or groups who want to succeed. Contact him at email@example.com or (209) 564-7201.