Magazine article Anglican Journal

All My Relatives

Magazine article Anglican Journal

All My Relatives

Article excerpt

THE PHRASE "You are all my relatives" speaks to the heart of indigenous spirituality. This greeting, used by many First Nations people when they encounter a fellow creature of God or the whole of God's universe, is a declaration, an invitation and a prayer. It unveils the basic reality of the way God has made us and identifies a way of walking in life. To be a good relative, especially to those outside your immediate family, is the greatest of aspirations, a fundamental morality.

For indigenous Christians, there is an added meaning. The life of the Trinity, as demonstrated in Christ, represents our relatedness as a living image, an icon, of the relationship of the Triune God. Though humanity has defaced this image, the revelation and work of Christ--his Cross, his resurrection and the Good News--foretell its restoration. Now we work in hope, hastening the Second Coming of the one who will bring the ultimate unity of all things in God. Then all Creation will cry, "All my relatives!

Until then, living as a relative has its challenges. For many modern churches, social relations, business relations and government relations have informed and sometimes misplaced a deeper theological understanding of what we are when we work together as community. …

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