Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The Miracle of the Diaspora
Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
Imagine a certain ethnic group, let's call them the Walenthians. And say that 1900 years ago, they were persecuted and scattered to the four corners of the earth.
1900 years later, travel to any Walenthian enclave...Paris, the Pyrenees, Ethiopia, Poland, Russia, Brazil, Miami, Cleveland or New York. Observing them for a while, you may notice that their language has taken on a local flavor, perhaps even their dress, but their practices are identical, the manner of their diet, their religious observances, even the taboos. How could this be possible?
It would be made possible by their allegiance to a common code which ties them, out of every nation and culture, to their own sub-culture.
If you ever get about three months to set aside other reading ventures and are able to devour a certain book, The Source, by James A. Michener, I highly encourage you to do so. As in any book, eat the meat, but spit out the bones. But I guarantee you are in for an education about the first set of "God's people" the Jews.
Author James (the apostle, not the Quaker) writes to all the Jews of the Diaspora, the scattered ones. He testifies and instructs of the Christian faith by which they may maintain their commonalities and peculiarities. He is a Jew writing to Jews, a pastor admonishing sheep. His epistle is scattered by the four winds to the four corners to further tie together a sub-culture of a sub-culture of different cultures. That is Jews who believe in the Messiah Who came to set them free.
So before you plow into The Source, take a long look at Pastor James' epistle to the redeemed part of the Diaspora.