Ancestry searches, genealogies, and family trees often intrigue people as they investigate and research their families. I know my own and discovered I have a Scottish Ancestor who is in many Alabama State History books. Perhaps that is why I feel so at home here. That, or the fact that I’ve lived here thirty years (since Henry and I married).
While tracing our biological roots can be a fascinating subject, I find our Spiritual Heritage even more compelling. Perhaps, as an adoptive mother, I had a slightly different perspective on family tree. I’ve shared in other posts how our family approaches that subject. Basically, it is a recognition of roots while also including the concept of branches being grafted on.
It’s a cool concept and unique for most people who hear it the first time. But, I can’t claim it as completely original. If you stop and think about it, it has already been taught in Scripture.
In Romans 11 there is a passage that explains the grafting process that occurs spiritually when we believe in Christ. Spiritually, once we choose to accept GOD’S offer, we are adopted.
God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. (Galatians 4:5 NLT)
With these thoughts in mind, I realized that there were people I had ‘adopted’ as Spiritual Ancestors. I respected them, was proud to be connected with them and wanted to know more about them. To name a FEW.
C.S. Lewis who was a friend and fellow believer of J.R.R.Tolkein – both of whom were GREATLY influenced by George MacDonald.
Oswald Chambers who was not famous during his own lifetime and we owe sincere thanks to his wife and daughter for presenting his works for publication.
Madame Jeanne Guyon who influenced many others such as Watchman Née and Spurgeon
While we can glean a lot from modern day teachers and even each other, there is much to be learned at the feet of those who have gone before us as we are challenged in our thought processes and daily lives.
Don’t shy away from delving into deeper writings that perhaps aren’t easily understood at first. Read and re-read. Chew on it, consider it, contemplate. Discuss with others. After all, these ‘spiritual giants’ are a part of your family tree.
Just this morning I read and was greatly encouraged by this quote from C.S. Lewis.
“For He seems to do nothing of Himself which He can possibly delegate to His creatures. He commands us to do slowly and blunderingly what He could do perfectly and in the twinkling of an eye… We are not mere recipients or spectators. We are either privileged to share in the game or compelled to collaborate in the work.”
-from “The Efficacy of Prayer,” _The World’s Last Night and Other Essays_
Wonder what treasures you might discover if you took a bit if time, did some research and traced the lines of your Spiritual Heritage and examined a new family tree.