This past week, my dad took our family on a 10-day tour of the UK with the intention of hunting down our family roots and discovering the origin of the Taylor name.
It was an awesome trip and we got to experience some truly beautiful areas, making memories together that will last forever.
We spent a lot of time in Scotland viewing some of the majestic castles and villages that the Taylor clan used to reside in, some of them are still in good condition while others are sitting in ruins.
Throughout the trip, as we sat in the local pubs and the small living rooms of our Airbnb's, my dad shared the stories of the origin of the Taylor clan - wondrous stories about an abandoned, illegitimate child of the Cameron Clan who was raised by the local village tailor (hence the name), eventually becoming a fierce warrior known for his dark, relentless side when in battle. It is a blockbuster tale that would make a seriously good book!
This trip reminded me of my other heritage, that of my heritage as a child of God.
It is amazing how being immersed in the area where the early Taylors lived and their stories took place gave us a clearer understanding of our origins which we were previously oblivious to. Through hearing the stories, studying the events and seeing the places, we felt a real connection to our Taylor ancestors.
Similarly if we desire to feel more aware and proud of our Christian heritage, it helps to learn about those who have gone before us.
It is for this reason that I have thoroughly enjoyed my Church History courses at the Seminary where I am studying. Noting that the Church has made many mistakes in the past and still continues to do so, it is encouraging to know that we are a part of a long line of faithful Christians that links all the way back to the first church that we read about in the book of Acts.
Furthermore, understanding our Christian heritage not only links us to the early church, but to Christ who was the founder and initiator of the Church. No matter what denomination we are a part of, being a part of the Christian Church today directly links us through generations of people to the person of Jesus Christ.
It is because of our parents and ancestors before us that we are able to better know and worship God today.
"It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today; A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness."
- Isaiah 38:19
As we read the stories of Jesus in the gospels and understand the journey that the generations of Christians have taken since then, we become more aware of our heritage and we better understand where we come from, who we are, what we live for and the promises we receive because of our heritage in Christ.
"I have inherited Your testimonies forever, For they are the joy of my heart."
- Psalm 119:111