If this were a facebook post, “what’s on my mind?” would be DNA. Yes, DNA. Recently, my grandson asked me, “what’s a DNA cousin?” He overheard me mentioning my DNA cousins in the car. First, I explained what DNA was…in a nine year old way. Then I explained my slang term for newly discovered cousins I’ve found through Ancestry DNA. While we haven’t met in person, since they live out of state, we have chatted via email and facebook.
The other reason DNA has been on my mind lately is my doctor referred me for a DNA screening test for genes which might be predictors for high risk breast or ovarian cancer. I walk more in faith than fear; however, I’ve learned that if a “mutation” does present, it doesn’t mean you will get cancer, but that there’s a protocol in place to ensure more frequent screenings. That makes total sense to me, and it’s very reassuring.
I personally don’t believe this “new-fangled” science is “playing God”—as long as future choices wouldn’t violate Godly principles. In fact, for me, the more I learn about science, the more it reinforces my faith. When the genetic counselor tutored me in genetics 101, I could sense how God “created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalms 139:13). Further, David praises God in Psalms 139:14, saying, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Just imagine, our Creator God has numbered “the very hairs of your head.” (Luke 12:7) To think that God has been with us since day one, on a cellular level, is almost beyond comprehension.
God places great importance on genealogy and the family tree. Remember all those begats in the Old Testament? This is God’s record, so future generations would know who they came from and how they were connected.
Recently, a friend told me about a History channel documentary “The Jesus Strand: A Search for DNA.” (Youtube, April, 2017). The premise of the show, which I haven’t seen, yet, was that a pastor and geneticist proposed that by taking DNA from the bones of Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, they could find modern day descendants. This concept is simply mind-blowing! I can’t comment on the validity of this experiment, but conceptually speaking, how would you walk around this earth if you knew, irrefutably, you’re a descendant of Jesus’ family? As his “adoptees,” we know we’re covered by the blood of Jesus, we partake in communion in remembrance of His sacrifice, but imagine being an actual blood relative…would it be humbling, or heady?
However you view DNA…as a helpful medical screening tool, as a way to find extended or adopted relatives, or a speculative t.v. show, we can see that the strands of DNA are a thread of connectivity. We can appreciate that our DNA ancestors can inform our health care, we can connect with our extended family members, and we can celebrate that Jesus calls us His sons and daughters.