Today is Heritage Day in South Africa. It is a day in which we celebrate our diversity. We have eleven official languages and each one comes from a different culture. On Heritage day we pay tribute to our different cultures and remember our heritage.
As it happens, we are away from home at the moment. today being a public holiday and tomorrow a school holiday, we decided to have a long weekend away to celebrate my birthday on Sunday and Brian’s three days later. Quite co-incidentally we are staying at a place overlooking Heritage Lake.
It was such fun going out for breakfast this morning. A lot of eating places, including Wimpy and Spur, encouraged their staff to dress up in their traditional dress.
All of this got me thinking. What exactly is our heritage. The following are some definitions I found:
property that is or may be inherited , an inheritance ,
something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth (Dictionary.com)
something that is passed down from preceding generations, a tradition or the status acquired by a person through birth; a birthright (the freedictionary.com)
As a wider meaning, I suppose our beautiful country could be considered as our heritage, including all the animals in it. Sitting on a deck overlooking the lake we have seen, so far, five zebra and some buck. We are assured that there are also giraffes, monkeys and other smaller wild animals. All of these are part of our heritage, as well as the mountains, trees, flowers and birds. It was God’s instruction to the first humans to look after this beautiful earth He gave us.
How sad that, as a species, we have tended to put getting rich off our heritage above protecting it and growing it for our descendants. We only have to think about air pollution, rhino poaching, mining and oil exploration to see how this has gotten out of control.
However, as Christians, we also have a heritage and it is our inheritance. Romans 8:16-17 tells us: the spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
What is our heritage? We inherit, through Jesus, the Kingdom of God, justification, sanctification and everything that Jesus won for us on the cross.
This Heritage day, let us not take for granted what has been passed down to us from our forefathers, what we have been born into and what has been won for us through great price by the Son of God Himself on the cross. Happy Heritage day.