Gratitude Day 295
Wed, July 3, 2019
Matthew 16:13-16 – When Jesus and his disciples were near the town of Caesarea Philippi, he asked them, “What do people say about the Son of Man?” The disciples answered, “Some people say you are John the Baptist or maybe Elijahor Jeremiah or some other prophet.” Then Jesus asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter spoke up, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
In the past few weeks, I have attended a variety of functions where I received a name badge or a button to wear. These indicated that I was part of the group. That I belonged there. I was one of “them.”
Each time, I put one of these id badges on, I thought to myself, “Are these my people? Am I really one of them?”
We are identified many ways. We wear many hats. We can have multiple titles.
Aunt or Uncle.
Our last name.
A maiden name.
All of these “titles” have value and meaning. Do they define “who” you are? “What” you do? “What” is important to you?
They may or may not.
Think of your name. Who gave it to you? Why was it chosen for you? Does it have significance or meaning? What does your name mean?
Your name is one of those few self-identifying items that helps declare you as yourself. While your name creates your identity, how else is your identity created? What is your identity? How did you get it?
We can be identified in multiple ways. Honestly, I’ve rediscovered this the last number of weeks. I can be “part” of this particular group … but do I feel like these are my people? I may … or I may not.
It is very easy to blur our identities with our positions. I may be identified as “Rick’s wife” or “Debbie’s sister” or “Ron’s employee.” While these are all true and important, is this identity the most important identity of my life?
No, they don’t. Yes, they are all important, as well as a bunch of others. But in the end, there is only one identity that is truly important:
Beloved Child of God.
This is the identity that I most want to be remembered for. This is the “group” that are my people. These peeps are the ones I pray I have an underlying commonality that is the most important way I see and identify myself.
Jesus asked the disciples what his identity was one day. They blurted out the various way’s others had identified who he was. But to help them see the answer he was looking for, he asked who they thought he was. Simon Peter gives the answer Jesus hopes he will hear: “The Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Well done, Peter.
I pray when we identify ourselves, we don’t forget whose we are. This is our most basic identity and one Jesus wants us to claim for ourselves.
All those other groups and identities? Yep, they are important. May we first see ourselves first identified by our spot in God’s family. This is truly the most important way we should id ourselves; for our sake and for others.
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